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KEPE - Centre for Planning and Economic Research

by Vassilis Droucopoulos

The Centre for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) is the national economic research centre of Greece. Besides its main task - the scientific study of the Greek economy - it is also engaged in economic development planning, research on the Greek social security system and macro-economic modelling.


1. Objectives

The Centre for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) was founded in 1959 as a small research unit, under the name "The Centre for Economic Research". Its main aims were the scientific study of the economic problems of Greece, the encouragement of economic research

and collaboration with other scientific institutions in Greece and abroad.

In 1964 KEPE took the name it bears today as well as its present structure, under the supervision of the Ministry of Coordination. In the same year KEPE assumed the following additional responsibilities:

a. The drawing up of drafts of short- and long-term development plans.

b. The formulation of drafts for regional and physical development plans, as well as for public investment plans, according to guidelines laid down by the government.

c. The monitoring and analysis of the short- and long-term development of the Greek economy, as well as the drawing up of proposals regarding appropriate measures to be taken.

d. The training of young economists, particularly in the fields of planning and economic development.

2. Administration

KEPE is governed by a seven-member Administrative Board. Five members are appointed by the Ministry of National Economy for a three-year term; the other two members are the Director and the elected represantative of the scientific personnel of KEPE working in the field of economics. The Director is responsible for the supervision of scientific work; he also heads the administrative services and the personnel and is the organization's highest executive. In the performance of his duties the Director is aided by other advisory bodies such as the Research Committee, whose principal task is to draw up the programme of KEPE's research projects, to monitor their execution, to supervise and evaluate the procedures for assessing studies, as well as to provide an opinion on the undertaking of studies on behalf of other research institutions and international organizations and on the assignment of studies to outside collaborators by KEPE.

3. Financial Resources - Management

KEPE is financed by the State Budget and by the Public Investment Budget of the Ministry of National Economy. However, KEPE also has its own financial resources which derive from payment for studies assigned to it by international organizations and other public bodies as well as from the sale of its own publications.

In 1991 a Special Account was established at KEPE in order to manage research funds granted to KEPE for specific projects with the flexibility that characterizes the private sector. This Special Account is administered by a five-member Administrative Committee headed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of National Economy and audited by chartered accountants.

Presidents of the administrative board, Directors and associate directors of kepe from 1961 to the present

Presidents of the administrative board
Andreas Papandreou Professor 1961-1964
George Coutsoumaris Professor 1964-1967
Dimitrios Delivanis Professor 1967-1973
Constantine Papayannis Ph.D. 1973-1974
George Chalkiopoulos Professor 1974-1976
Dimitrios Chalikias Ph.D. 1976-1979
Vassilis Sarsentis Professor 1979-1981
Panayotis Karadimas Professor 1981-1982
Alexander Sarris Professor 1983-1987
Argyris Fatouros Professor 1987-1989
George Provopoulos Associate Professor 1989-1990
Constantine Drakatos Professor 1990-1993
Stavros Thomadakis Professor 1994-
Andreas Papandreou Professor 1960-1964
George Coutsoumaris Professor 1964-1967
Elias Balopoulos Professor 1967-1974
Evangelos Voloudakis Ph.D. 1974-1977
Reghinos Theocharis Professor 1978-1981
Louka Katseli Professor 1982-1986
Hercules Polemarchakis Professor 1987-1988
Maria Constantopoulos Professor 1989-1992
Tryphon Kollintzas Professor 1993
Vassilis Droucopoulos Professor 1994-
Associate Directors
Adamantios Pepelassis Professor 1962-1963
Panayotis Panayotopoulos Professor 1963
Panayotis Pavlopoulos Professor 1971-1973
George Chiotis Professor 1974
Loukis Athanassiou Ph.D. 1979-

4. Personnel

In order to fulfil its purpose, KEPE employs a permanent staff of 134 persons. The research personnel consisits of 83 individuals, mainly economists (senior research fellows, research fellows and research associates), of whom 36 hold a Ph.D. and 33 a Masters degree, mainly from universities abroad. KEPE also employs administrative personnel consisting of 46 people trained in various fields. On occasion KEPE also calls on the services of Greek and foreign experts from universities, research institutes, the Greek civil service and other organizations.

II. Activities

1. Planning - Economic Policy - European Projects

KEPE has made a substantial contribution to the formulation and elaboration of all the plans for economic and social development, at both the national and the regional levels, elaborated in Greece since 1966. In support of such development plans, KEPE undertakes to carry out studies on topics of practical importance, either using its own staff or assigning the work to outside collaborators.

For the preparation of development plans task forces are formed consisting of specialists in the public and private sectors with relevant knowledge and experience. KEPE's staff participates in these task forces as members and/or rapporteurs; they undertake both the organization of the research material that is collected and processed by the Committee and the supervision of its publications in the form of reports.

As an advisory body supervised by the Ministry of National Economy, KEPE offers its technical services on matters of economic and social policy. The specialization of KEPE's personnel in particular fields results in their acquisition of experience and knowledge which is then applied to the formulation of proposals on specific topics for public sector agencies who have requested the services of KEPE. The Centre's personnel take part in many task forces, either as main advisors or as simple members.

The Ministry of National Economy assigned to KEPE the responsibility for the elaboration of the relevant data at the national and regional level and the drafting of the Regional Development Plan (RDP) 1994-1999 - also known as the Second Delors Package - and provided the required terms of reference.

The draft RDP was submitted to the Ministry in April 1993 for the final drafting at the political level. Subsequently it was officially submitted to the European Commission in Brussels.

In the context of the review of the RDP 1994-1999 by the new government elected in October 1993, KEPE was asked to prepare macroeconometric scenarios aiming at the estimation of the economic impact of the forthcoming Communitiy Support Framework (CSF) 1994-1999 and at laying the ground for the preparation of the new Convergence Plan.

KEPE was also assigned the preparation of the so-called Financial Table for the CSF 1994-1999 and was engaged in the preparation of the Physical and Impact Indicators which were negotiated for inclusion in the CSF in question to serve as the basis for the monitoring of the progress attained during its implementation.

Members of KEPE staff are participating in the Working Parties at the centre and the regions which are currently preparing the operational programmes for the CSF 1994-1999.

On assignment by the Ministry of National Economy KEPE prepared two studies on topics related to important current policy issues. The first, which was delivered in June 1995, dealt with the likely impact of pricing and profit policies by Greek firms upon the course of inflation and the effort to reduce it. The second, which was delivered in February 1996, addressed issues related to industrial structure and industrial development policy, employment structure and employment policy and their interconnections.

The Ministry of National Economy has recently assigned to KEPE the preparation of a study on the likey impact upon future current government expenditure of the future operation of the economic and social infrastructure to be created with the resources of the Community Support Framework for the period 1994-1999, better known as the Second Delors Package.

2. Research - Scientific Publications

As regards research, KEPE has carried out a large number of research projects. Some of these have been the work of professors from Greek universities, while others have been the work of visiting experts or professors from abroad.

KEPE's research efforts are primarily directed towards filling in some basic gaps in our knowledge of the workings of the Greek economy. They aim at developing collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. Thus research at KEPE as a rule focuses on collective projects on topics that are of critical importance to the country's development.

The Centre's research and planning activities are reflected by its publications, whose aim is to promote knowledge and information. It should be noted that, since its foundation, KEPE has published almost 520 studies. A complete list of KEPE's publications is included in the Information Bulletin (April 1996).

KEPE's publications are distributed free to public libraries as well as to the libraries of universities, prefectures, public organizations, banks, chambers of commerce etc., and are also on sale at KEPE. Students at home and abroad and Greek applicants for postgraduate studies are offered a 50% discount on KEPE's publications.

KEPE also publishes a quarterly News Bulletin (in Greek) informing on the current activities of the organization: scientific publications, seminars etc., which is distributed free to the public. In support of its activities KEPE has undertaken to publish a new periodical with the title "OIKONOMIKA" ("ECONO-MICS") this year. It will deal with scientific research, mainly with problems of the Greek society, and will be addressed to a wide range of interested people, particularly to economists.

Copies of all publications are available at the Centre's Library.

3. Educational Activities

KEPE has been extremely active in the field of education, providing opportunities for practical training to young economists, granting scholarships for post-graduate studies in economics and planning, and organizing lectures by Greek and foreign specialists. Moreover, KEPE's personnel participates in EC and other international committees and attends international conferences.

The organization's scholarship programme has enabled its staff to specialize in areas relevant to the country's developmental needs and to the advancement of scientific research. More than 170 individuals have benefited from this programme, of whom 70 have gained a Ph.D. degree. Another aspect of KEPE's educational activity is its participation, for many years now, in the training of civil servants.

KEPE's one-day conference and lecture programme contributes to the continuous scientific up-dating of its personnel; it also encourages the spirit of collaboration in the field of economics and the open exchange of views between specialists in different areas. Greek and foreign specialists and university professors take part in this programme and a wide range of people follow it with great interest.

III. Collaboration with other institutions and organizations

Since its foundation, KEPE has cultivated relations of close collaboration with equivalent research and educational institutions, in order to promote an exchange of views, information and publications on current economic developments and methods of research in economics. This collaboration has enabled the Centre to secure the services of many distinguished specialists, who have visited KEPE either as guests or as part of their sabbatical leave, thus contributing to the advancement of economic science in this country. The Centre aims not only at continuing this valuable collaboration, but also at increasing it as much as possible in the future.

Moreover, within the framework of this collaboration KEPE has undertaken to carry out studies on behalf of international organizations such as the OECD, the EU, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, etc. Studies carried out by the Centre on behalf of other agencies are listed in the Information Bulletin (April 1996), following the List of Publications.

One research project in which KEPE is currently participating is:

The LINK Project

Greek participation in this project, which started in 1978, consists of the following responsibilities:

- The construction and use of a macro-economic model which has been linked to the world LINK model.

- Regular updating of the data base and continuous development of the model.

- Medium-term forecast at least twice a year.

- Participating in the LINK meetings twice a year, during which representatives from all over the world discuss international economic developments and medium-term prospects.

IV. Support services

1. Library

KEPE has a special research Library with a rich collection of books, periodicals and other material on the social sciences, with an emphasis on economics, which makes a significant contribution to the raising of research and planning standards in Greece.

The Library of KEPE includes twenty-four thousand one hundred and forty (24,140) books, seven hundred and forty (740) Greek and foreign periodical titles, about three thousand six hundred and twenty (3,620) Working Papers, as well as two hundred and seventy (270) series of statistical bulletins, and directly serves the needs of its researchers. It is open to the public from 11.00 to 13.00. Readers have the possibility of making photocopies. KEPE's Library collaborates with other Greek and foreign libraries as regards borrowing or photocopying publications if the need arises. It must be noted that the Centre's Library operates as a Depository Library for World Bank publications, while an Exchange Agreement has been made with the OECD.

2. KEPE'S Computer Department (e-mail: root@kepe.
2.1 Central Computer System

The central computer system, RISC technology, has been operating fully since August 1994. This system has the following basic technical characteristics:

a. Hardware. A RISC architecture computer system, model Control Data 9940-101 (1993), which uses one, 64 bit, 100 MHz MIPS RISC R4000SC processor with 1 MB secondary cache. The central memory has a capacity of 128MB while the disks have a total capacity of 5GB. The maximum upgradability in central memory is 384 MB and in disks it is 15GB. It comes with a 14" console, model 46201-1. Its peripherals are one 4mm Digital Audio Tape (DAT) internal drive, 2 GB capacity, model 9100-PDT, one 256-character line-matrix printer of speed 800lpm draft in the 96 character mode, model Mannesmann Tally MT661, eight terminal servers, each connecting 16 ports to an Ethernet network, model
ANNEX-ELS-16, and a thick-to-thin transceiver. Finally, a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is used, of 2,400 Watt real power, 12 minutes protection, model Delta-M30.

b. Software. The system runs under IRIX 4.0 (UNIX V.4) operating system, full development, licensed for an unlimited number of users. The programming languages Fortran 77 and C are available. The basic application software consists of electronic mail licenced for 128 users, SPSS-X (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 10) for 128 users, TSP (Time Series Processor) for 128 users, and the multi-task, multi-user library package Equilibrium for an unlimited number of users. Other available software includes different utilities, the RDBMS Informix (run-time) for 32 users, under which runs Equilibrium, Windows under UNIX and DOS emulator.

c. Ethernet Communications. For our communication needs, a workstation SPARCLASSIC 4/15DC-16-P44 (50MHz, memory 16MB, hard disk 535MB, Solaris) is used, with Ethernet controller. This workstation is connected to the 9440 system. About 100 PCs are connected to the network serially, as terminals to the central system. In each office there is at least one communication line. The protocols X.25 and X.400 are also available. Through the Hellaspac network and the X.25 protocol, there is a linkage with Forthnet, Internet.

In brief, the above described system of KEPE consists of:

a. A powerful, open architecture, central computer system with peripherals.

b. Programming languages and the latest software versions, especially for statistical and econometric estimations.

c. Software for a fully computerized organization and operation of KEPE's Library. Today the Library is operating in the traditional way. The data entry, necessary for the computerized operation of KEPE's Library, is currently in the final stage. Using the powerful "EQUILIBRIUM" software, about 10% of all data have so far been input into the system and in an estimated period of 3-4 months all the Library's functions will be fully automatic.

d. A network, for direct access of KEPE's personnel to the central system. Through this network, all personnel has access to the electronic mail facilities, to KEPE's Library, to the statistical and other software. The computer centre is also linked to other networks (Hellaspac, Internet, Forthnet).

Today, the access to Internet is fully operational and KEPE's researchers are exchanging information using facilities such as e-mail, ftp, etc. The e-mail facility is also widely used within KEPE. The info bulletins, originating from the computer center, which until recently were distributed exclusively on paper to each staff member, have been sent by e-mail since December 1994. Let it be noted that all staff members have their own user names in our central system.

KEPE has short-term plans, in collaboration with Forthnet, for improving the existing Internet connection, in order to achieve speed, reliability and quality of data transfer. A special Committee has been appointed to study this matter and make specific technical recommendations on how this important task can be done.

2.2. PCs and Peripherals

In addition to the above systems KEPE's personnel uses 113 PCs (IBM compatible). About one third of them are 486 or 386. The rest are 286. These PCs operate under DOS/Windows or just DOS.

A great variety of PC software for DOS and Windows is also available. In addition to the application software for DOS, the latest versions of the integrated packages MS-Office, Perfect Office, Lotus, DBase V, all for windows, are available.

There is also a number of matrix printers (59) and 10 Laser printers attached to the PCs.

Most of the 486 PCs (29), 15 printers (of which 6 Lasers) and all the software for Windows were acquired in February 1995.

Since January 1996, KEPE has renewed its computer facilities by adding 20 modern PCs of PCI architecture, 16 of which use the 486 processor at 100 MHz; 4 use the PENTIUM, also at 100 MHz. These systems have modern specifications and peripherals, including hard disks of 850 MB-1.2 GB storage capacities, SVGA-PCI graphics cards, low radiation - low energy 15" monitors, etc. The operation systems in use are the lates MS-DOS 6.22, MS-Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and the most recently introduced MS-Windows 95.

In addition, the Computing Centre of KEPE bought a powerful high resolution color SCANNER, with the necessary OCR software and a color Deskjet printer for processing color documents, graphs, images, etc.

2.3. Other Applications and Computer-Related Activies

a. OLIS-OECD: KEPE has been subcribing to the OECD OnLine Information Service (OLIS) since December 1994; it has access to information mainly of research and economic nature. The linkage is done via the international network Sprint. Since December 1995 the existing linkage between KEPE and OLIS has been improved by using the new, more efficient and user-friendly communication software, OLIS-II.

b. Link with TEE's Data Bank: Since January 1996, KEPE has been linked with TEE's Data Bank, the Greek Technical Chamber's powerful source of information, including literature search, international conference dates, etc. This Data Bank currently operates at a small pilot stage and is soon expected to function at full scale, providing a variety of Greek and international services.

c. Computer Programme for Monitoring KEPE's Property Items: Apart from the other computer programmes for KEPE's administrative needs (payroll, accounting, publications), a PC programme has been installed for the monitoring of KEPE's property items. This programme is currently being used with pilot data.

d. Training: The training of KEPE's personnel in the usage of UNIX has been completed. Also, the Library personnel has finished its training in the use of Equilibrium, the Library package.

Recent KEPE Publications
KEPE publishes different series, including monographs, duscussion papers, etc. A cumulative list of publications is included in the "Information Bulletin" of April 1996. There are also other lists of KEPE's publications in English and of the discussion papers. It has to be noted that most titles are published in Greek.


Study Group of KEPE: Underground Economy and Tax Evasion: Measure-ment and Economic Consequences. 1995 (Report No. 15) (in Greek).

Athanassiou, L.A., C.N Kanellopoulos, E.M. Poupos: Convergence, Divergence and Regional Development Policies. 1995 (Report No. 16) (in Greek).

Kostelenos, G.K.: Greek Primary Sector. Recent Developments and Prospects, 1994-1999. 1995 (Report No. 17) (in Greek).

Athanassiou, L.A., P.A. Kavvadias, D.N. Katochianou, P.I. Tonikidou: Interregional Analysis and Policies and Basic Data per Region and per Department. 1995 (Report No. 19) (in Greek).

Karmas, C.A.: Greek Education on the Treshold of the Year 2000. 1995 (Report No. 20) (in Greek).

Kanellopoulos, C.N: Internal Migration. 1995 (Report No. 21) (in Greek).

Carabatsou Pachaki, C.: Topics in Agriculture, Rural and Local Development. 1996 (Report No. 23) (in Greek).

Discussion Papers

Christodoulakis, N. and S. Kalyvitis: Likely Effects of CSF 1994-1999 on the Greek Economy: An Ex Ante Assessment Using an Annual Four-sector Macro-econometric Model. 1995 (No. 46) (in English).

Glytsos, N.: Remitting Behaviour of "Temporary" and "Permanent" Migrants: The Case of Greeks in Germany and Australia (under publication) (No. 53) (in English).

Glytsos, N.: Demographic Changes, Retirement, Job Creation and Labour Shortages in Greece: An Occupational and Regional Outlook (under publication) (No. 54) (in English).

Katsanevas, Th.: The Evolution of Employment and Industrial Relations in Greece (From the decade of 1970 up to the present) (under publication) (No. 56) (in English).

Kollias, Ch., S. Makrydakis: The Causal Relationship between Tax Revenues and Government Spending in Greece (under publication) (No. 58) (in English).

Vassilis Droucopoulos
Centre of Planning and Economic Research
22, Hippokratous Street
GR-106 80 Athens, Greece
Phone: +30-2-36.25.919; 36.43.791
Fax: +30-2-36.30.122, 36.11.136

Prof. Vassilis Droucopoulos is director of the Centre of Planning and Economic Research.

EURODATA Newsletter No.4, p.9-13