ON THE PROFITABILITY OF TRADE DEFLECTION AND THE NEED FOR RULES OF ORIGIN- with Gabriel Felbermayr and Erdal Yalcin[Journal of International Economics (121), 103248, 2019] When a country grants preferential tariffs to another, either reciprocally in a free trade agreement (FTA) or unilaterally, rules of origin (RoOs) are defined to determine whether a product is eligible for preferential treatment. RoOs exist to avoid that exports from third countries enter through the member with the lowest tariff (trade deflection). However, RoOs distort exporters’ sourcing decisions and burden them with red tape. Using a global data set, we show that, for 86% of all bilateral product-level comparisons within FTAs, trade deflection is not profitable because external tariffs are rather similar and transportation costs are non-negligible; in the case of unilateral trade preferences extended by rich countries to poor ones that ratio is a striking 98%. The pervasive and unconditional use of RoOs is, therefore, hard to rationalize.
QUANTIFYING THE PARTIAL AND GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM EFFECTS OF SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA - with Lisandra Flach, Inga Heiland, Mario Larch, and Marina Steiniger [Review of International Economics 1-43, 2023] This paper evaluates the effects of sanctions on Russia between 2014 and 2019 and the resulting countersanctions. We estimate their impact on trade in a gravity framework, allowing for treatment heterogeneity among pairs and sectors, and use the estimated elasticities in a general equilibrium analysis. We find that the sanctions decreased trade with Russia in key sectors, translating to a loss in real income in Russia by 0.3%. Full decoupling of the EU and its allies from Russia would increase this effect to over 4%. Our results emphasize the role of deep sanctions as a foreign policy instrument and international cooperation.