NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Portuguese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis

Ricardo Reis

NBER Working Paper No. 19288
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   DEV   EFG   IFM   ME

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19288

Published: 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. citation courtesy of

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