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The Portuguese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis

  • Ricardo Reis

Between 2000 and 2012, the Portuguese economy grew less than the United States during the Great Depression and less than Japan during its lost decade. This paper asks why this happened, with a particular focus on the slump between 2000 and 2007. It describes the main facts of Portugal's recent economic history, evaluates some possible explanations for its dismal performance, and proposes a new hypothesis based on the misallocation of abundant capital flows from abroad. I put forward a model of credit frictions to show that if financial integration exceeds financial deepening, productivity will fall, generating a slump as relatively unproductive firms in the nontradables sector expand at the expense of more productive tradables firms. This explanation can also potentially account for the similarities and the differences between Portugal on the one hand, and Ireland and Spain on the other, during this period, and for some features of the crash in Portugal after 2010.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19288.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Publication status: published as Ricardo Reis, 2013. "The Portugese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 143-210.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19288
Note: DEV EFG IFM ME
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  1. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & João Cerejeira & Miguel Portela, 2010. "Manufacturing employment and exchange rates in the Portuguese economy: the role of openness, technology and labour market rigidity," NIPE Working Papers 22/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Reis, Ricardo, 2013. "The mystique surrounding the central bank’s balance sheet, applied to the European crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
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  15. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo & Carla Machado, 2007. "Job Creation and Destruction in Portugal," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  16. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
  17. Serguey Braguinsky & Lee G. Branstetter & Andre Regateiro, 2011. "The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm," NBER Working Papers 17265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Peter Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Discussion Papers 07-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  19. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2001. "International and domestic collateral constraints in a model of emerging market crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 513-548, December.
  20. Philip R. Lane, 2012. "The European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 49-68, Summer.
  21. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
  22. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  23. Jay C. Shambaugh, 2012. "The Euro's Three Crises," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 157-231.
  24. Ruo Chen & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "External Imbalances in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 12/236, International Monetary Fund.
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