The Persistent Effect of Sanctions on Trade
Using a country-pair panel of economic sanctions from 1965 to 2005, I estimate the effect of sanction imposition on bilateral trade flows. I explore both trade dynamics during the sanction period, as well as the long-run effect on trade after the sanction is lifted. I find that trade flows between sanction sender and target drop substantially after the sanction starts. These effects are long-lived, and persist well after the sanction has ended. There is no negative effect of the sanction on targets total trade. The sanctioned country is able to divert trade towards non-sanctioning competitors of the sanction sender.
Did Sanctions Help Putin?
Do sanctions strengthen the targeted regime? I analyze the 2014 imposition of Western sanctions on Russia and its impact on voting. The US and the EU introduced targeted measures against Russian entities and individuals related to Putin’s regime. Using polling station-level data I investigate whether Putin gained relatively more support among those local constituencies which were geographically close to a sanctioned firm. I find a significant effect of targeted sanction imposition on the vote share in presidential elections between 2012 and 2018. Putin gained 1.54 percentage points at those polling stations that had a sanctioned firm in immediate vicinity. Targeted sanctions imposition also affected voter turnout. The effect on voting can be explained as rally-around-the-flag in the face of sanctions, as long as voters did not endure economic losses through a decline in some sanctioned firms economic performance.
Strategic Goods Trade Bias in Human Rights Sanctions
I study whether there is a strategic goods trade bias in human rights sanctions. I exploit bilateral commodity-level data on trade between human rights-concerned countries and human rights violators between 1972 and 2005. I show that human rights-abusing countries exporting energy and nuclear products are sanctioned less often. Exports of nuclear goods and armaments by human rights-concerned countries to human rights abusers also mitigate the use of sanctions. Economic rationales and not geopolitical considerations explain the impact of strategic trade on sanction use.