The building industry in Greece : its role in the post-war Greek economy
The building industry acquired considerable dimensions as an economic activity during the post-war period in Greece, and became one of the main sectors of the economy. This thesis grasps the development of the building industry as an aspect of the industrialisation that took place with the initiative of foreign capital, the concomitant relative decline of the agricultural sector and the ensuing rural exodus and urban expansion. An interpretation is provided of the fact that the building industry developed along the lines of a mode approximating petty commodity rather than capitalist production proper, the decisive influence being attributed to the conditions of land ownership prevalent in Greece, while the limited size of the industry's market, confined by local boundaries, is seen as an additional factor. This system of building production, ultimately the conditions of land ownership upon which it is founded, and the system of financing it developed is seen as a mechanism distributing incomes in favour of middle and lower classes, explaining at the same time the solution of the housing problem in Greece, in spite of the absence of State intervention in this field. An interpretation is also provided of the fact that the building industry functioned as an important stimulator of the economy of the period developing an integrated basis of production amidst an industrial environment characterised by the relative absence of integration of the stages of production within the boundaries of the domestic economy. Finally, this thesis establishes both in theoretical terms and through the concrete analysis undertaken, the so far widely disputed productive character of the building industry, and its significant effects on the general socio-economic development of the country.