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  • 1 Banco de Portugal, Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2 ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
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Payment systems make a significant contribution to the flow of transactions and financial stability. In this paper, we start by applying the principles of the gravity model to explain the TARGET flows of banking transactions between Portugal and other eurozone countries. The main explanatory variables tested are a composite indicator of economic and financial activities, distance, membership of the Eurozone (EZ), and country risk measured by treasury bond yields. The results indicate that Portugal has a high level of integration in the European banking market as distance is not statistically significant, and that the membership of the EZ facilitates the financing of the economy. The economic size of the partner country becomes non-significant after controlling for country fixed effects. The increase in the Portuguese country risk during the European sovereign debt crisis led to a marked decline in external financing, indicating that this is an important channel of transmission of crises.

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