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The Portuguese development plans in the postwar period: How much was spent and where?


  • Ricardo Ferraz

    (ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon and Centre of Research into Economic and Social History, Lisbon, Portugal)


After the Second World War, Portuguese decision-makers began to produce planos de fomento (development plans). The conclusions reached using unique historical data show that the Portuguese nation spent roughly 211 million contos on development plans in the period from 1953 to 1974. Approximately three quarters of this amount (which at today’s prices and in today’s currency is equivalent to €50.4 billion, i.e. 26.1% of the current Portuguese GDP) were spent in the metropolis; while the remaining quarter was spent in the overseas provinces. Based on the estimation of a linear regression model, it was also possible to identify a positive relationship between this expenditure and the extraordinary growth of the Portuguese economy during the Golden Age. It is hoped that this research can make a valuable contribution to the economic history of the twentieth century and provide a useful tool for future research KEY Classification-JEL: E65; N14, O10; 025

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Ferraz, 2020. "The Portuguese development plans in the postwar period: How much was spent and where?," Investigaciones de Historia Económica - Economic History Research (IHE-EHR), Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociación Española de Historia Económica, vol. 16(01), pages 45-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:16:y:2020:i:01:p:45-55

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Ferraz, 2022. "The Portuguese Military Expenditure from a Historical Perspective," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 347-365, April.
    2. Pedro Goulart & Roberto Falanga, 2022. "Co-production and Voice in Policymaking: Participatory Processes in the European Periphery," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(4), pages 1735-1744, August.

    More about this item


    Planes de desarrollo. Gasto público. Metrópoli. Provincias de ultramar;

    JEL classification:

    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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