Elena Panaritis is an institutional economist, and policy innovator. Unitil recently, she served as a special advisor to the Greek Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament of Greece. 

In more than a decade as an economist at the World Bank, Elena spearheaded several institutional/structural reforms, including property rights reform in Peru that received International Best Practice and Innovation awards (in total, close to 15 million people have benefited from these reforms while the return has been over a 150 multiple). 

Elenaá reform methods have revolutionized and forever changed the way people and policymarkers think, specifically about structural reforms. As an economist, she pioneered social entrepreneurship. 

She is renowned for her success in transforming informal markets into vibrant, frowing formal economic and social entities. Her book Prosperity Unbound: Builiding Property Markets with Trust (Palgrave Macmillan) recounts her experience and expands on her methodology, Reality Chech Analysis, which is considered one of the best practical applications of institutional economics to property rights issues. 

She is the founder of Panel Group, a triple-bottom-line business (social enterprise) that focuses on distressed cities and markets with high levels of informality, transforming the wealth base of poor propert holders into proud middle class property owners. Elena has taught economic development, housing finance and property markets reform at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD, and the Johns Hopkins Universite School Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

“Indispensible reading for both private and public sector leaders and for anyone interested in the implications of informality for transforming real estate markets. It provides critical insights on why and how institutions and property rights matter for economic and social development, and a roadmap for the way forward.” 

– Susan Watchter
Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania