Power Politics or Public Pandering? An Empirical Investigation of Economic Sanctions and Presidential Approval

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Authors Clayton Webb
Paper Category
Paper Abstract ABSTRACTHow do economic sanctions affect presidential approval? Competing claims have been made about the domestic political consequences of economic sanctions. One claim is that sanctions are unpopular because they have negative economic consequences; another claim is that sanctions are popular because they project an image of strength; and another claim is that sanctions are neither popular nor unpopular because the public is uninformed about international affairs. These arguments imply competing identification restrictions. I test these competing models using a Bayesian Structural Vector Autoregression (B-SVAR) model. The results show that sanctions have a moderate negative effect on presidential approval. I use these findings as a basis for a broader set of auxiliary analyses. Despite received wisdom, sanctions imposed for different reasons against different target states do not produce disparate effects on public opinion. These analyses resolve an important empirical dilemma that weighs on a range of...
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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