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Looking for a success in the euro crisis adjustment programs: the case of Portugal

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  • Ricardo Reis

    () (Department of Economics School of Arts and Sciences Columbia University
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

Abstract

Portugal’s adjustment program in 2010-14 under the troika was extensive and aimed at addressing its large debt and anemic growth, so it may serve as a blueprint for reforms in the Eurozone. This paper argues that, conditional on a diagnosis of the underlying problems of the Portuguese economy, the adjustment program failed to deliver in definitely addressing the problems in public finances, but succeeded in leaving promising signs of reform in the structure of the economy. In particular, on the negative side, public debt is still high, primary surpluses improved modestly, and public spending barely fell as the problem of ever-rising pension payments remained unsolved. On the positive side, unemployment fell sharply, exports and the current account balance rose, capital and labor reallocated to more productive and tradable sectors, and the country is growing faster than the EU for the first time in 15 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Reis, 2015. "Looking for a success in the euro crisis adjustment programs: the case of Portugal," Discussion Papers 1535, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1535
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    File URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Discussion-Papers/2015/CFMDP2015-35-Paper.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Athanasios Orphanides, 2015. "The Euro Area Crisis Five Years After the Original Sin," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 48(4), pages 535-565.
    2. Dias, Daniel A. & Richmond, Christine & Wright, Mark L.J., 2014. "The stock of external sovereign debt: Can we take the data at ‘face value’?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 1-17.
    3. Fagan, Gabriel & Gaspar, Ví­tor, 2007. "Adjusting to the euro," Working Paper Series 716, European Central Bank.
    4. McQuinn, Kieran & Whelan, Karl, 2015. "Europe's Long-Term Growth Prospects: With and Without Structural Reforms," Papers WP501, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Pedro Lains, 2008. "The Portuguese Economy in the Irish Mirror, 1960–2004," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 667-683, November.
    6. Duffy, David & FitzGerald, John & Timoney, Kevin & Byrne, David, 2014. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Spring 2014," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20141, April.
    7. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "The Portugese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 143-210.
    8. Luís Fonseca & Matteo Crosignani & Miguel Faria-e-Castro, 2015. "Central Bank Interventions, Demand for Collateral, and Sovereign Borrowing Costs," Working Papers w201509, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2013. "Finance at Center Stage: Some Lessons of the Euro Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9415, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Blanchard & Pedro Portugal, 2017. "Boom, slump, sudden stops, recovery, and policy options. Portugal and the Euro," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 16(3), pages 149-168, December.
    2. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2017. "Heterogeneity in the debt-growth nexus: Evidence from EMU countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 470-486.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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