By A. Cooper Drury (auth.)
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Additional info for Economic Sanctions and Presidential Decisions: Models of Political Rationality
He uses the illustration of a teacher making an example of a misbehaving student to deter other students. The real target is more the class as a whole than the misbehaving student. 9 With such complexity, it is very difficult to evaluate the decision-maker’s goals, which in turn means that it is very difficult to evaluate the sanctioning effort’s effectiveness. Baldwin’s argument is very persuasive with regards to effectiveness. Further, his insights into the complex, multifaceted nature of the goals decision-makers may have are very astute, adding considerably to our understanding of economic sanctions.
That is, wealthier economies have more capacity to absorb the economic loss and continue to resist the sanctions. A hypothetical example may be helpful. An eight trillion dollar economy similar to the United States’ can more easily pay for $100 million a year in losses due to a sanction than a five billion dollar economy similar to Haiti’s. 001 percent of the total economy while in the second it is 2 percent. However, sanctions have symbolic effects as well as instrumental ones. Even if the losses to a target are Evaluating Sanction Effectiveness 39 small in comparison to their GDP, a large absolute loss may still be perceived as significant pressure—a large dollar amount is symbolic of considerable pressure.
S. threats to remove or condition China’s MFN status, Drury and Li (2004) show that not only were the threats ineffective but also counterproductive. As the United States— particularly the Congress—became more bellicose toward Beijing, fewer prisoners were released, curfews lifted, and so on. However, when Washington took a more cooperative stand, the PRC tended to react by loosening political restrictions in China. Thus, it is not entirely clear that threats should be any more effective if the target has no desire or sees no utility to give in to the sender’s demands.