Research Seminar

The Global Sanctions Data Base — Gabriel Felbermayr

10 Nov 2020


Gabriel Felbermayr (Kiel Institute)


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 during the 1950–2016 period 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 GSDB 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.


Gabriel Felbermayr (Kiel Institute, Kiel University) — Aleksandra Kirilakha (School of Economics, Drexel University) — Constantinos Syropoulos (School of Economics, Drexel University CESifo) — Erdal Yalcin (Konstanz University of Applied Sciences) — Yoto V. Yotov  (School of Economics, Drexel University, Center for International Economics, ifo Institute, CESifo)


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