Sanctioned to Death? The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Life Expectancy and Its Gender Gap

45 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2017 Last revised: 10 Sep 2018

See all articles by Jerg Gutmann

Jerg Gutmann

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics

Matthias Neuenkirch

University of Trier - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Florian Neumeier

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

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Date Written: September 5, 2018

Abstract

We empirically analyze the effect of UN and US economic sanctions on life expectancy and its gender gap in target countries. Our sample covers 98 less developed and newly industrialized countries over the period 1977–2012. We employ a matching approach to account for the endogeneity of sanctions. Our results indicate that an average episode of UN sanctions reduces life expectancy by about 1.2–1.4 years. The corresponding decrease of 0.4–0.5 years under an average episode of US sanctions is significantly smaller. In addition, we find evidence that women are affected more severely by the imposition of sanctions. Sanctions not being “gender-blind” indicates that they disproportionately affect (the life expectancy of) the more vulnerable members of society. We also detect effect heterogeneity, as the reduction in life expectancy accumulates over time and countries with a better political environment are less heavily affected by economic sanctions. Finally, we provide some evidence that an increase in child mortality and Cholera deaths as well as a decrease in public spending on health care are transmission channels through which UN sanctions adversely affect life expectancy in the targeted countries.

Keywords: Gender Gap, Human Development, Life Expectancy, Sanctions, United Nations, United States

JEL Classification: F51, F53, I15, J16, K33

Suggested Citation

Gutmann, Jerg and Neuenkirch, Matthias and Neumeier, Florian, Sanctioned to Death? The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Life Expectancy and Its Gender Gap (September 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3036391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3036391

Jerg Gutmann

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

Matthias Neuenkirch (Contact Author)

University of Trier - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Universitätsring 15
Trier, 54296
Germany
+49 - (0)651 - 201 - 2629 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-trier.de/index.php?id=50130

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Florian Neumeier

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

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