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Portugal Before and After the European Union: Facts on Nontradables

  • Fernando Alexandre

    (University of Minho and NIPE, Portugal)

  • Pedro Bação

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal)

The rise of nontradable sectors has been mentioned as one of the causes of low economic growth and external imbalances in the Portuguese economy. In this paper we describe the main trends and jumps in the evolution of nontradable sectors, since the mid-1950s, using four different databases to shed light on different dimensions of this issue. We show that, despite the pattern of the growth of the share of services being similar to that observed in other developed countries, since the early 1990s it has been significantly larger than in most countries. We find that the shift to nontradables in Portugal has been fast and that it occurred essentially at the expense of agriculture in the period 1953-95, and essentially at the expense of industry in the period 1995-2009. In 2009, the share of nontradables (defined as the sum of services plus construction) in total GVA reached 68%, if we exclude open service sectors, and 81.1%, if we treat all service sectors as nontradable. We also find that more than half of the change towards nontradables since joining the European Union took place in the period 1988-1993. Finally, we show that construction and services facing a strong Government demand were the main drivers of the increasing weight of nontradables in the Portuguese economy since 1986.

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File URL: http://gemf.fe.uc.pt/workingpapers/pdf/2013/gemf_2013-02.pdf
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Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2013-02.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2013-02.
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  1. Jose De Gregorio & Alberto Giovannini, 1993. "International Evidence on Tradables and Nontradable Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. João Amador & Ana Cristina Soares, 2012. "Competition in the Portuguese Economy: a view on tradables and non-tradables," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  9. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F374-F403, 06.
  10. Iscan Talan, 2010. "How Much Can Engel's Law and Baumol's Disease Explain the Rise of Service Employment in the United States?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-43, September.
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