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Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Are embargoes effective?

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  • Adelaide Baronchelli
  • Raul Caruso
  • Roberto Ricciuti

Abstract

This paper analyses the trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) from 1990 to 2017. Our analysis relies on an unbalanced panel of 79,245 observations reporting SALW exports between 9275 pairs of countries. In particular, we study the impact of embargoes on trade in SALW. We use a gravity model framework including, in addition to traditional gravity variables, specifically SALW trade controls. The main results show that: (i) embargoes reduce SALW exports to sanctioned countries by 33%; (ii) an EU embargo appears to determine a decrease of 37% of SALW transfers, whereas for UN embargoes the impact is not significant. In addition, we found no warning signals of sanctions‐busting. First, countries do not seem to import a larger number of SALW if neighbours are under an embargo. Second, the findings show that embargoes have no statistically significant effect on the trade in sporting arms. Results are robust to some robustness checks, in particular to endogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Adelaide Baronchelli & Raul Caruso & Roberto Ricciuti, 2022. "Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Are embargoes effective?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(5), pages 1336-1361, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:45:y:2022:i:5:p:1336-1361
    DOI: 10.1111/twec.13217
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    Cited by:

    1. Raul Caruso, 2021. "Economic Statecraft: from Negative Sanctions to Positive Sanctions," Working Papers 1010, European Centre of Peace Science, Integration and Cooperation (CESPIC), Catholic University 'Our Lady of Good Counsel'.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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