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Abstract

Portugal was the first independent nation to follow Britain in joining the gold standard. Although beset by persistent current account deficits and heavily dependent on foreign capital inflows, it enjoyed a relatively stable tenure of 37 years on gold. This paper shows how it was possible to secure currency stability, despite a lower credibility for the peg and a higher incidence of gold point violations than in core countries. The explanation lies in the central role played by institutional actors, such as the Bank of Portugal and/or the government, whose interventions in the exchange market kept the parity within the band.

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