Economic Sanctions Basics

What are economic sanctions?

Takeaway Points

  1. Economic sanctions restrict trade in some way to try to coerce an opponent to give up some policy concession.
  2. The policy concession is often completely unrelated to the actual sanctions.
  3. Economic sanctions have become more frequent over time.
  4. Since trade is efficient (i.e., it leaves both parties better off), explaining sanctions requires explaining why states do not choose to bargain instead.
  5. The effectiveness of sanctions is hard to appreciate observationally.