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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 594587, 15 pages
Research Article

Multidimensional Scaling Analysis of the Dynamics of a Country Economy

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Engineering, Polytechnic of Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
2Nova SBE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Campolide, Travessa Estevão Pinto, 1099-032 Lisbon, Portugal

Received 8 August 2013; Accepted 11 September 2013

Academic Editors: M. Kohl and K. Saito

Copyright © 2013 J. A. Tenreiro Machado and Maria Eugénia Mata. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper analyzes the Portuguese short-run business cycles over the last 150 years and presents the multidimensional scaling (MDS) for visualizing the results. The analytical and numerical assessment of this long-run perspective reveals periods with close connections between the macroeconomic variables related to government accounts equilibrium, balance of payments equilibrium, and economic growth. The MDS method is adopted for a quantitative statistical analysis. In this way, similarity clusters of several historical periods emerge in the MDS maps, namely, in identifying similarities and dissimilarities that identify periods of prosperity and crises, growth, and stagnation. Such features are major aspects of collective national achievement, to which can be associated the impact of international problems such as the World Wars, the Great Depression, or the current global financial crisis, as well as national events in the context of broad political blueprints for the Portuguese society in the rising globalization process.