When countries commit "economic crimes" — i.e., theft of intellectual property, dumping, currency manipulation — are sanctions effective at making them stop?

I am specifically looking for examples of failure or success, or studies that have been done as to their effectiveness.


A rather comprehensive overview is provided by Hufbauer et al, who examine the efficacy of almost 200 instances of economic sanctions. Overall, they find that economic sanctions 'work' in around 1/3 of cases.

There is a caveat, however. Economic sanctions are usually used in combination with other foreign policy measures (diplomacy, the threat of war, etc.) It is the absence of further investigation, it is not obvious whether it was the sanctions or these other measures that led to the desired change in the target's behaviour. Hence, the 1/3 figure should probably be viewed more as an upper bound on the efficacy of economic sanctions.


Economic sanctions typically a ban on trade, possibly limited to certain sectors such as armaments, or with certain exceptions (such as food and medicine)Targeted Sanctions. These tools may include various forms of trade barriers, tariffs, and restrictions on financial transactions.

While the goals of sanctions are to force a country to alter its behavior, there is much variation as to how the sanctions are leveled and to whom they target. Sanctions can target a country as a whole, as in the case of an embargo on a country’s exports (e.g. U.S. sanctions on Cuba). They can also target specific industries, such as an embargo on the sale of weapons of petroleum. Another example is since 1979, the United States and European Union have prohibited the import or export of goods and services to Iran.

According to some sources:

The success of sanctions varies in accordance with how many parties are involved. Bilateral sanctions are more effective than unilateral sanctions, but the success rate, in general, is fairly low. In many circumstances, the sanctions caused economic harm without changing the target country's policies. Sanctions are ultimately blunt tools of foreign policy, because their deployment is rarely precise enough to affect only the target economy, and because they presuppose that economic harm will lead to the sort of political pressure that will benefit the instigating country.


Also, try :

Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work Author(s): Robert A. Pape https://www.jstor.org/stable/2539263?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents


13 times that economic sanctions really worked. By Adam Taylor April 28, 2014. Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/04/28/13-times-that-economic-sanctions-really-worked/?utm_term=.2891e591faad


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