Portugal’s Economic Crisis: Overheating Without Accelerating

  • Neil Dooley
Part of the Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy book series (SPERIRP)


Portugal’s economic crisis was characterised by the experience of ‘all of the signs of overheating … without any acceleration of GDP’ (Deutsche Bank 2010). This chapter traces how the introduction of European Community/European Union (EU) facilitated ‘structural reforms’ throughout the 1980s and 1990s contributed to the development of new and dangerous patterns of debt-led growth. In the 1990s, a rejuvenated private banking sector drove the expansion of economic growth in Portugal’s non-tradable sector, damaging the country’s competitiveness and creating some of the highest levels of private debt in the EU. This trajectory of economic growth contributed to a decade of recession in the 2000s, ensuring that Portugal was particularly vulnerable to contagion from the Greek and Irish crises from 2010 onwards.


Political economy Europeanisation Debt-led growth Structural reforms 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Dooley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and Sussex European InstituteUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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