The Global Sanctions Database


Back
Next
A JOINT PROJECT OF


About
The Global Sanctions Database (GSDB)


The currently available GSDB covers 729 publicly traceable, multilateral, plurilateral, and purely bilateral sanction cases over the 1950-2016 time period.In an updated version of the GSDB we are working on, the time of coverage has been extended to the year 2019 and contains new cases for a total of 1045. Additionally, the GSDB classifies these sanctions on the basis of three important dimensions. First, by the type(s) of sanctions considered (e.g., trade sanctions vs. financial sanctions vs. travel sanctions, etc.). Second, by the political objective(s) behind the observed sanction(s). In particular, the GSDB  systematically groups sanction objectives into distinct categories (e.g., policy change, destabilization of a regime, war prevention, human rights, etc.) of recorded policy objectives. Third, by the perceived degree of success for each identified sanction, captured by five distinct categories ranging from failed sanctions to the target's full acceptance of the sender's demands.

A distinct trait of the GSDB is that it is well-suited to address issues related to bilateral and multilateral linkages in trade relations and the intricate structure of applied sanctions. The GSDB should not be viewed as being designed exclusively for the analysis of issues related to international trade. On the contrary, the GSDB's information on sanctions can be utilized to study their effects in a broad range of areas/fields, including their implications for financial flows, tourism, the determinants of war, and the significance of democratization efforts. What's more, the detailed identification of different types of sanctions in the GSDB may help deepen researchers' understanding of the interplay between different sanctions policies, thereby enabling them to determine which combinations of sanction types are more effective in achieving various policy objectives.

The GSDB's information on sanctions can be utilized to study their effects in a broad range of areas/fields, including their implications for financial flows, tourism, the determinants of war, and the significance of democratization efforts. What's more, the detailed identification of different types of sanctions in the GSDB may help deepen researchers' understanding of the interplay between different sanctions policies, thereby enabling them to determine which combinations of sanction types are more effective in achieving various policy objectives. We hasten to add that the dyadic structure of the dataset can help extract more nuanced information on the nature of interactions, not just among senders and targets, but also among non-sanctioning countries.

The first dimension of the GSDB allows to take a close look at the distribution of applied sanctions by type (e.g., trade versus financial sanctions, mobility etc.), extent of the intervention (e.g., partial versus complete sanctions), and region (e.g., whether sanctions are imposed unilaterally or reciprocally by countries). In addition, the GSDB helps obtain a clear view of the evolution of sanctions over time and relative to each country. We view these features of the GSDB, especially the bilateral structure of recorded sanctions, as salient and indispensable. We think their application can help bridge the current gap in scholarship between the sophisticated developments in empirical trade tools and their application to policy assessments related to the possible costs and benefits of sanctions.

The second dimension of the GSDB, policy objectives of sanctions, is defined on the basis of official declarations, including UN resolutions and/or executive orders. Policy objectives are categorized and can be compared across all years and cases. The database allows a comprehensive analysis e.g. how policy objectives of sanctions have changed over time.

The third dimension of the GSDB documents and assesses the policy outcomes of classified sanctions policy objectives. The achievement of a policy objective is evaluated on the basis of information contained in official government statements or indirect confirmations in international press announcements. Notably, the GSDB permits analysis to track the success rate of sanctions policies over the years under consideration.
TEAM
Gabriel
Felbermayr
Professor of International Economics and President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
Aleksandra
Kirilakha
School of Economics of the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA).
Constantinos
Syropoulos
Professor at the School of Economics of the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA).
Erdal
Yalcin
Professor of International Economics at the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz (HTWG) in Germany.
Yoto V.
Yotov
Professor at the School of Economics of the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA) and a Research Professor at the Center for International Economics of the ifo Institute, at the University of Munich.
The Global Sanctions Database is a joint project of the following three institutions:
Research

Research Based On The Global Sanctions Database

The GSDB has been utilized in the following research projects and papers:

The Global Sanctions Data Base
(Gabriel Felbermayr,  Aleksandra Kirilakha, Constantinos Syropoulos,  Erdal Yalcin, and Yoto Yotov)
Accepted for publication in the European Economic Review, forthcoming.

A working paper version of the paper is available under the School of Economics Working Paper Series 2020-4, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, https://ideas.repec.org/p/ris/drxlwp/2020_002.html

Abstract:
This article introduces the Global Sanctions Data Base (GSDB), a new dataset of economic sanctions that covers all bilateral, multilateral, and plurilateral sanctions in the world from 1950 to 2016 across three dimensions: type, political objective, and extent of success. The GSDB features by far the most cases amongst data bases that focus on effective sanctions (i.e., excluding threats) and is particularly useful for analysis of bilateral international transactional data (such as trade flows). We highlight five important stylized facts: (i) sanctions are increasingly used over time; (ii) European countries are the most frequent users and African countries the most frequent targets; (iii) sanctions are becoming more diverse, with the share of trade sanctions falling and that of financial or travel sanctions rising; (iv) the main objectives of sanctions are increasingly related to democracy or human rights; (v) the success rate of sanctions has gone up until 1995 and fallen since then. Using state-of-the-art gravity modeling, we highlight the usefulness of the GDSB in the realm of international trade. Trade sanctions have a negative but heterogeneous effect on trade, which is most pronounced for complete bilateral sanctions, followed by complete export sanctions.


On the Heterogeneous Effects of Sanctions on Trade and Welfare: Evidence from the Sanctions on Iran and a New Database
(Gabriel Felbermayr,  Constantinos Syropoulos, Yoto Yotov, and Erdal Yalcin)

School of Economics Working Paper Series 2020-4, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University,  https://ideas.repec.org/p/ris/drxlwp/2020_004.html

Abstract:
Using a new, global data base covering the years 1950 to 2016, we study the impact of sanctions on international trade and welfare. We make use of the rich dimensionality of our data and of the latest developments in the structural gravity literature. Starting with a broad evaluation by sanction type, we carefully investigate the case of Iran. Effects are significant but also widely heterogeneous across sanctioning countries. Moreover, they depend on the direction of trade. We also perform a counterfactual analysis which translates our partial equilibrium sanction estimates into heterogeneous but intuitive general equilibrium effects within the same framework.

DATA

The GSDB is a public good that was earnestly created in response to market demand. Its initial development and maintenance took a substantial long-term effort by a number of us. Accordingly, in return for that effort, we expect two things from all users of the GSDB. First, if you use the GSDB please cite the latter papers. Second, if you detect an error in the dataset, please inform us as soon as possible. In order to accommodate the detection of errors and inconsistencies in the early life of the GSDB, our team is committed to updating it bi-annually during the first two years after its official release on July 1, 2020. After the initial two-year period, the GSDB will be updated annually. We expect that the December 2020 release of the GSDB will cover more than 300 additional cases, which we have already tracked over the period 2016-2019.

The GSDB is freely available and we will be happy to share it with interested researchers, who can request it

by e-mail at GSDB@drexel.edu.

CONTACT
Please write us an email with your name and affiliation. We are happy to send you the Global Sanctions Database
A JOINT PROJECT OF
Back
Next