Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:23am

Russia Sanctions

Past experience suggests that economic sanctions do little to deter the target countries from their course of action.

Responses
 

Source: IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel
Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Acemoglu Daron Acemoglu MIT Agree 5
This is true for limited sanctions being imposed on Russia. Much more comprehensive sanctions as in South Africa or Iran would be effective.
Bio/Vote History
         
Alesina Alberto Alesina Harvard Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Altonji Joseph Altonji Yale Uncertain 2
Bio/Vote History
         
Auerbach Alan Auerbach Berkeley Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Autor David Autor MIT Disagree 6
Not a good experiment, but sanctions appear effective sometimes, e.g., Iran, South Africa.
Bio/Vote History
         
Baicker Katherine Baicker Harvard No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Banerjee Abhijit Banerjee MIT Disagree 7
I think a part of what made Iran come to bargaining table has to do with the sanctions, though I have no way to prove this.
Bio/Vote History
         
Bertrand Marianne Bertrand Chicago Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Brunnermeier Markus Brunnermeier Princeton Disagree 8
Sanctions bite often only with a long delay and the effectiveness depends on the circumanstances. (South Africa and Iran vs. North Korea)
Bio/Vote History
         
Chetty Raj Chetty Harvard No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Chevalier Judith Chevalier Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Currie Janet Currie Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Cutler David Cutler Harvard Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Deaton Angus Deaton Princeton Disagree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Duffie Darrell Duffie Stanford Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Edlin Aaron Edlin Berkeley Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Eichengreen Barry Eichengreen Berkeley Uncertain 5
I waver between uncertain and agree. Much depends on the form of the sanctions, the behavior they're designed to deter, etc.
Bio/Vote History
         
Einav Liran Einav Stanford Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Fair Ray Fair Yale Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Finkelstein Amy Finkelstein MIT Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Goldberg Pinelopi Goldberg Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Goolsbee Austan Goolsbee Chicago Disagree 5
often do little, but can deter if significant and applied effectively
Bio/Vote History
         
Greenstone Michael Greenstone Chicago Disagree 7
"Course of action" is vague. Sanctions & their threat alter the calculus by raising costs & thus affect decisions. but not a cure all
Bio/Vote History
         
Hall Robert Hall Stanford Uncertain 1
Not acquainted with the evidence.
Bio/Vote History
         
Hart Oliver Hart Harvard Disagree 4
My sense is that economic sanctions were important in ending apartheid in South Africa, and are leading Iran to negotiate with the West.
Bio/Vote History
         
Holmström Bengt Holmström MIT Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Hoxby Caroline Hoxby Stanford Uncertain 10
Depends on country, its trade, its politics. Also, sanctions that are initially apparently ineffective can gradually undermine a regime.
Bio/Vote History
         
Hoynes Hilary Hoynes Berkeley Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Judd Kenneth Judd Stanford Disagree 7
Sanctions are signals. Putin would be surprised if NATO said nothing about Crimea, and might read it as a green light to be more aggressive.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kaplan Steven Kaplan Chicago Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Kashyap Anil Kashyap Chicago Agree 5
Hard to design & sustain in a way that ends up only harming the offender. Better to boycott the world cup in Russia +embarass FIFA too!
Bio/Vote History
         
Klenow Pete Klenow Stanford Disagree 3
It surely works sometimes (e.g. against the Apartheid regime). Restrictions on Odious Debt could also help, though NA for Russia today.
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Levin Jonathan Levin Stanford Agree 3
I'm no expert on this, but Int. Relations literature seems to conclude sanctions often don't work that well.
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Maskin Eric Maskin Harvard Uncertain 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Nordhaus William Nordhaus Yale Agree 3
Referring to economic or political sanctions.
Bio/Vote History
         
Obstfeld Maurice Obstfeld Berkeley Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Saez Emmanuel Saez Berkeley Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Samuelson Larry Samuelson Yale Uncertain 6
We have evidence both ways - sanctions of Myanmar and North Korea have accomplished little, while sanctions on Iran may be useful.
Bio/Vote History
         
Scheinkman José Scheinkman Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Schmalensee Richard Schmalensee MIT Agree 5
I'm sure there are exceptions, but not many.
Bio/Vote History
         
Shapiro Carl Shapiro Berkeley No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Shimer Robert Shimer Chicago Agree 5
Effectiveness must depend on the openness of the target economy and the uniformity of the application of sanctions
Bio/Vote History
         
Stokey Nancy Stokey Chicago No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Thaler Richard Thaler Chicago No Opinion
I don't trust my memory to run a mental regression with sanctions on the right hand side. In principle, there should be sanctions that work
Bio/Vote History
         
Udry Christopher Udry Yale Disagree 7
The evidence is that sanctions can be effective, particularly when the goal is limited.
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         

10 New Economic Experts join the IGM Panel


For the past two years, our expert panelists have been informing the public about the extent to which economists agree or disagree on important public policy issues. This week, we are delighted to announce that we are expanding the IGM Economic Experts Panel to add ten new distinguished economists. Like our other experts, these new panelists have impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters, and their names will be familiar to other economists and the media.

To give the public a broad sense of their views on policy issues, each new expert has responded to a selection of 16 statements that our panel had previously addressed. We chose these 16 statements, which cover a wide range of important policy areas, because the original panelists' responses to them were analyzed in a paper comparing the views of our economic experts with those of the American public. You can find that paper, by Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales, here. The paper, along with other analyses of the experts' views, was discussed during the American Economic Association annual meetings, and the video can be found here.

The new panelists' responses to these statements can be seen on their individual voting history pages. Our ten new economic experts are:

Abhijit Banerjee (MIT)
Markus K. Brunnermeier (Princeton)
Liran Einav (Stanford)
Amy Finkelstein (MIT)
Oliver Hart (Harvard)
Hilary Hoynes (Berkeley)
Steven N. Kaplan (Chicago)
Larry Samuelson (Yale)
Carl Shapiro (Berkeley)
Robert Shimer (Chicago)


Please note that, for the 16 previous topics on which these new panelists have voted, we left the charts showing the distribution of responses unchanged. Those charts reflect the responses that our original panelists gave at the time, and we have not altered them to reflect the views of the new experts.

We have also taken this opportunity to ask our original panelists whether they would vote differently on any of the statements we have asked about in the past. Several experts chose to highlight statements to which they would currently respond differently. In such cases, you will see this "revote" below the panelist's original vote. We think you will enjoy seeing examples of statements on which some experts have reconsidered.

As with the 16 previous statements voted on by new panelists, these "revote" responses are not reflected in the chart that we display showing the distribution of views for that topic: all the charts for previous questions reflect the distribution of views that the experts expressed when the statement was originally posed.

About the IGM Economic Experts Panel

This panel explores the extent to which economists agree or disagree on major public policy issues. To assess such beliefs we assembled this panel of expert economists. Statistics teaches that a sample of (say) 40 opinions will be adequate to reflect a broader population if the sample is representative of that population.

To that end, our panel was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the major areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include Democrats, Republicans and Independents as well as older and younger scholars. The panel members are all senior faculty at the most elite research universities in the United States. The panel includes Nobel Laureates, John Bates Clark Medalists, fellows of the Econometric society, past Presidents of both the American Economics Association and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of the President's Council of Economics, and past and current editors of the leading journals in the profession. This selection process has the advantage of not only providing a set of panelists whose names will be familiar to other economists and the media, but also delivers a group with impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters.

Finally, it is important to explain one aspect of our voting process. In some instances a panelist may neither agree nor disagree with a statement, and there can be two very different reasons for this. One case occurs when an economist is an expert on a topic and yet sees the evidence on the exact claim at hand as ambiguous. In such cases our panelists vote "uncertain". A second case relates to statements on topics so far removed from the economist's expertise that he or she feels unqualified to vote. In this case, our panelists vote "no opinion".

The Economic Experts Panel questions are emailed individually to the members of the panel, and each responds electronically at his or her convenience. Panelists may consult whatever resources they like before answering.

Members of the public are free to suggest questions (see link below), and the panelists suggest many themselves. Members of the IGM faculty are responsible for deciding the final version of each week’s question. We usually send a draft of the question to the panel in advance, and invite them to point out problems with the wording if they see any. In response, we typically receive a handful of suggested clarifications from individual experts. This process helps us to spot inconsistencies, and to reduce vagueness or problems of interpretation.

The panel data are copyrighted by the Initiative on Global Markets and are being analyzed for an article to appear in a leading peer-reviewed journal.

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