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The Global Sanctions Data Base


  • Felbermayr , Gabriel

    () (Kiel Institute & Kiel University)

  • Kirilakha, Aleksandra

    () (Drexel University)

  • Syropoulos , Constantinos

    () (Drexel University)

  • Yalcin , Erdal

    () (Konstanz University)

  • Yotov, Yoto

    () (Drexel University)


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 2015 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 declining and that of financial or travel sanctions increasing; (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 exemplify 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 sanction

Suggested Citation

  • Felbermayr , Gabriel & Kirilakha, Aleksandra & Syropoulos , Constantinos & Yalcin , Erdal & Yotov, Yoto, 2020. "The Global Sanctions Data Base," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2020-2, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, revised 30 May 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2020_002

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    More about this item


    Sanctions; Sanction Databases; Effects of Sanctions on Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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