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Financial Crises In Spain: Lessons From The Last 150 Years


  • Concha Betrán

    () (Universidad de Valencia)

  • Pablo Martín-Aceña

    () (Universidad de Alcalá-Madrid)

  • María Angeles Pons

    () (Universidad de Valencia)


The financial disturbances that originated in the US in the second half of 2007 are the latest in a series of episodes in various regions of the world in recent years. However, financial crises are not unique to current financial systems, history being full of banking and exchange rate crises. Are crises alike? Do they share similar features or, on the contrary, are they strikingly distinct? Have they become more frequent, longer-lasting and more severe since the 20th century? Are we now living in a more vulnerable financial world? What does history tell us when comparing past and present crises? This paper chooses to address some of these questions for the case of Spain. The objective of this paper is to study the financial crises that have occurred in Spain over the last 150 years. Data are revised and different indicators constructed to identify financial crises. We consider all types of crises, namely currency, banking, stock market and debt crises and all their possible combinations, estimate their frequency by period and measure their length and depth. The Spanish case is compared to the results obtained for multi-country analyses in order to test whether the general conclusions obtained in those papers hold for one sole country. Finally, we perform an analysis of the main financial crises in order to establish hypotheses that could be tested in future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Concha Betrán & Pablo Martín-Aceña & María Angeles Pons, 2011. "Financial Crises In Spain: Lessons From The Last 150 Years," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1106, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. " Contagious Currency Crises: First Tests," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 463-484, December.
    3. de la Escosura, Leandro Prados, 2010. "Spain’s international position, 1850-1913," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(01), pages 173-215, March.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
    6. Sanz, José María Serrano & Castillo, M. Jesús Asensio, 1997. "El ingenierismo cambiario. La peseta en los años del cambio múltiple, 1948–1959," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 545-573, December.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    8. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2013. "Banking crises: An equal opportunity menace," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4557-4573.
    9. Houpt, Stefan & Rojo Cagigal, Juan Carlos, 2010. "Capital market integration in Spain? Introducing the Bilbao Stock Exchange, 1891-1936," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(03), pages 535-573, December.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Spain: an eventful history of economic crises
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-10-17 19:48:00

    More about this item


    financial crises; currency; banking; stock market and debt crises; Spanish banking history.;

    JEL classification:

    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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