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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Daniel Ahn
"The Sword and the Shield: The Economic Impact of Targeted Sanctions and Adversarial Counter-Strategies"
Thursday, November 01, 2018, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Daniel Ahn

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Daniel P. Ahn is currently a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on energy economics and conflict; senior adviser at the Rapidan Energy Group; and adviser for the U.S. government.

He was previously the chief economist at the U.S. Department of State, where he advised the secretary and senior principals on a wide range of international economic and security topics relevant to U.S. foreign policy, including global macroeconomic growth, financial stability, economic sanctions, counter-terrorist financing, international trade, and energy security.

Prior to public service, Ahn was the chief economist for commodities at Citigroup in New York and also held senior positions at Citadel, Barclays Capital, and Lehman Brothers. He has also held research and teaching positions at Harvard University, National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University, Council on Foreign Relations, and International Monetary Fund.

He is the author of multiple research articles, Congressional testimony, and a forthcoming economics textbook. He was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of "30 under 30 in Finance."

Ahn completed his A.B. in economics and finance with honors from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


While broad economic sanctions have long been used as instruments of foreign policy, targeted sanctions focusing on specific individuals, entities, and transactions are relatively new and less understood.

Ahn will present his groundbreaking research empirically estimating the economic impact of targeted sanctions, using a unique database of detailed firm and individual-level data. He will focus on sanctions deployed by the United States and European Union against primarily Russian targets after the crisis in Ukraine in 2014 as a natural experiment. Ahn has been able to identify specific impacts on targeted companies by category and by industry and to ascertain the extent to which "strategic" companies received special support (“shielding”) from the Russian state.

His work is particularly relevant for anyone who wishes to understand the policy effects of sanctions at both the micro and macro levels, and the extent to which a target state is able or unable to avoid the intended impacts of sanctions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 


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