Economic Sanctions and Trade Flows in the Neighborhood

Start Page



We investigate the effect of economic sanctions on trade flows in countries sharing a border with sanctioned states. According to trade models, sanctions are expected to reduce trade flows, as they disrupt established trading routes and economic relationships with suppliers and customers. However, there may also be instances in which countries circumvent trade restrictions by clandestinely exchanging goods with sanctioned countries across the border and trading on their behalf, which leads to an increase in imports and/or exports. To shed light on this issue, we employ a combination of large-N panel data analysis and comparative case studies using the synthetic control method. We find that, in the aggregate, neighboring countries experience economic costs as sanctions disrupt trade. Yet case studies uncover heterogeneity in countries’ responses, with some exhibiting an increase in trade flows. Possible explanations for these different outcomes include opportunistic behavior and increased costs.

Full text not available in ChicagoUnbound.