Central banking in the iberian peninsula: a comparison
The paper explores the similiraties and differences between the origin, behavior and evolution of the central banks of Portugal and Spain. Portugal and Spain are two countries that share the same peninsular space in the west corner of Europe. Though different in size and population, the political, social and economic history of both nations offer more similarities than differences. In the financial sphere, he resemblances are remarkable. Both nations exhibit very low levels of financial intermediation, as measured by the ratio between total bank deposits and GDP. Another common feature of both Iberian nations is the dominance exerted by a sole institution. However, we also find some divergences between the financial structures of the two countries that are worth noting. Three differences merit our particular attention in this paper. The first diversity refers to the distinct composition of the quantity of money. The monetary regime is the second difference between the two countries (Portugal joined the gold standard while Spain remained off the gold standard). Finally, the Bank of Portugal and the Bank of Spain exhibit also significant contrasts in their behavior as central banks.
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