A strategy to help Ukraine win the war
04 November 2022
Russia’s fierce military campaign in Ukraine continues, but Ukraine stands their ground as the military tide is turning in their favour. But what besides the military support is needed for Ukraine to win the war?
The bleak economic future of Russia
01 November 2022
Is the Russian economy “surprisingly resilient” to sanctions and actions of the West? The short answer is no. In this policy brief, Maria Perrotta Berlin and Jesper Roine, researchers from Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE), discusses the bleak economic future of Russia.
Sanctions enforcement and money laundering
03 October 2022
With sanctions becoming an increasingly important tool in ostracising autocratic regimes from western markets, the need for effective enforcement of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies is increasing. The global AML regime will be the backbone in detecting evasion of sanctions. This regime has, however, been widely criticised as ineffective. In this brief, Giancarlo Spagnolo and Theo Nyreröd discusses issues with the current AML regime and propose a reward scheme for whistleblowers to enable asset seizures. A powerful feature of their proposal is that it does not rely on the effectiveness of the AML regime.
Foreign aid to Ukraine: Lessons from the literature on strategic foreign aid
19 September 2022
Ukraine is currently receiving substantial inflows of foreign aid from western donors to help the country withstand the Russian aggression. The foreign aid flows partly reflect altruistic motives from the donor side, but also donor’s domestic strategic foreign policy objectives as the war is seen as part of a battle over the future world order. In this brief, Anders Olofsgård, discuss the academic literature that has analysed the existence and consequences of strategic motivations behind aid flows more generally, and draw some preliminary insights for the case of Ukraine.
Will the sanctions against Russia have any effect?
12 May 2022
Sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine are argued to be the strongest and farthest-reaching imposed on a major power after WWII, more numerous and more comprehensive than all other measures currently in force against all other sanctioned countries. A question often asked, which is hard to answer, is whether sanctions are effective.
Financial aid to Ukrainian reconstruction: Loans vs grants
01 May 2022
This brief provides an overview of the discussion on the relative merits of grants and loans in the literature on foreign aid, including a short section on debt relief initiatives. These claims are then tested against the context of Ukrainian post-war reconstruction, and it is argued that the case for providing grants is very strong. This argument is based on the magnitude of the investments needed, the need to create a long-run sustainable economy, the road towards a future EU membership, and the global value of a democratic and prosperous Ukraine as a bulwark against autocratic forces.
What are the effects of banning Russian oil and gas across the EU?
29 April 2022
Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the West has been contemplating sanctions on Russian oil and gas imports. For the EU, this plan poses a significant challenge due to the long-existing sizable dependency on Russian energy. In this brief, we outline the possible effects of banning Russian oil and gas on the energy import bill across the EU.
Why does Sweden still send financial support to Russia?
25 March 2022
Against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Swedish financial support to Russia has become questioned. Anders Olofsgård, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and Deputy Director at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE), explains why we need to understand what that support is actually financing and what its purpose is.
Trading favors? UN security council membership and subnational favoritism in aid recipients
23 March 2022
SITE researchers Maria Perrotta Berlin and Anders Olofsgård together with SITE research affiliated faculty Raj M. Desai (Georgetown University and Brookings Institution) examine the effect of a country's membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the subnational distribution of World Bank aid. They find support for the hypothesis that aid recipient governments are better able to utilize aid flows for political favoritism during periods in which they are of geo-strategic value to major donors.
Do sanctions from US and EU push autocracies closer to each other?
18 March 2022
What is the biggest problem with imposing sanctions on autocracies? How are the cost of sanctions shared across the sanctioned party? Jonathan Lehne, Assistant Professor at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE), talks about the "Fortress Russia" strategy and how the Russian economy's exposure to sanctions has changed since 2014.