Conférence donnée dans le cadre de la table ronde "Monnaies et économies au 19e siècle" à l'occasion du programme ANR DANIM (La Dépréciation de l’Argent Monétaire et les relations Internationales) en partenariat avec le Labex TransferS.
Coordination : Georges Depeyrot, Chargé de recherches au CNRS.
Exposé de Rita Martins de Sousa sur l'histoire de l'économie du Portugal au 19ème siècle.
The monetary regime based on a gold standard was legally adopted by England in 1816 and by Portugal in 1854. It was only in the last quarter of the XIX century that it spread to Europe and other continents. The explanations for the end of bimetallism in Portugal emphasize network externalities grounded in the heavily trade between Portugal and Britain as well as the payment of the debt service. Another factor is the great number of gold coins in circulation. Although these explanations can be valid, some questions remain unanswered. The network externalities does not account for why Portugal changed their monetary regime at that particular time. The ties between Portugal and England date much further back than the mid XIX century, which leaves 1854 as the date on which the gold standard was adopted unaccounted for. Given that monetary regime policy is subject tointernal and external factors, to explain the shift as a result of network externalities only is both too sweeping and simplistic. It is also necessary to consider causes internal to the Portuguese economy, especially as a smooth transition in the monetary regime was essential for all involved to prevent economic or social disruption.
The paper seeks to demonstrate that in Portugal, a peripheral economy, the transition from bimetallism to the gold standard was the result of both political and financial factors.
Rita Martins de Sousa est professeur au département d'économie et de management à l'Université technique de Lisbonne.
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Dernière mise à jour : 27/06/2012