Skip to main content

Oscar Camacho, ’22

PhD, Economics

What is the effect of sanctions on military expenditures, and what is the effect of multilateral trade on the probability of war?

In my study of sanctions and military expenditures, I found evidence that trade sanctions increase the sanctioned country’s military spending. The result is consistent with theoretical models in economics that study how trade restrictions affect military expenditures.

My second chapter’s preliminary results indicate that military expenditures and rivalries are important to understand how trade openness affects the probability of war. The intuition is that changes in bilateral trade induced by globalization affect military spending. Since a country can use its military against any nation, changes in military expenditures of one country affect multiple countries.

Studying conflict is important because of the costs associated with it. War destroys human life, productive capacities, and divert resources to military and defense activities. History offers many lessons on how devastating such costs can be. Therefore, my research attempts to formally study the effect of trade on three different conflict intensity measures: militarization, armed inter-state conflict (war), and a new dimension that measures conflict using sentimental analysis.