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Worth the pain? Firms' exporting behaviour to countries under sanctions

with Matthieu Crozet, Amrei Stammann and Joschka Wanner. European Economic Review, 134: 103683.
Evolution of number of firms in face of sanctions.

Evolution of number of firms in face of sanctions.

How do exporting firms react to sanctions? Specifically, which firms are willing — or capable — to serve the market of a sanctioned country? We investigate this question for four sanctions episodes using monthly data on the universe of French exporting firms. We draw on recent econometric advances in the estimation of dynamic fixed effects binary choice models. We find that the introduction of new sanctions in Iran and Russia significantly lowered firm-level probabilities of serving these sanctioned markets, while the (temporary) lifting of the U.S. sanctions on Cuba and the removal of sanctions against Myanmar had no or only small trade-inducing effects, respectively. Additionally, the impact of sanctions is very heterogeneous along firm dimensions and by case particularities. Firms that depend more on trade finance instruments are more strongly affected, while prior experience in the sanctioned country considerably softens the blow of sanctions, and firms can be partly immune to the sanctions effect if they are specialized in serving “crisis countries”. Finally, we find suggestive evidence for sanctions avoidance by exporting indirectly via neighboring countries.

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