Does research on economic sanctions suffer from publication bias? A meta-analysis

Binyam Afewerk Demena, G Benalcazar Jativa, AS Reta, PB Kimararungu, Peter van Bergeijk

Research output: Working paperAcademic


We meta-analyse 36 primary studies on determinants of the effectiveness of economic sanctions published over the years 1985-2018, using the Protocol of the Meta-Analysis in Economics Research-network. We investigate the impact of trade linkage, sanction duration and prior relations on sanction success. While the descriptive analysis and weighted averages suggest that the impact of the three variables of interest is significant and conforms to a priori theoretical expectations, our econometric analysis uncovers significant publication bias in the results. Bias is significant and large for the three variables of interest and the genuine impact of these variables on success and failure of sanctions after correction for publication bias is insignificant. Moreover, we find that bias in this literature increases over time.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series

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