Italian small arms exports: between incentives and international sanctions

Adelaide Baronchelli, Raul Caruso

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


This paper empirically investigates the determinants of Italian Small Arms and Light Weapons (hereafter SALW) exports to 143 polities from 1990 to 2017. We focus in particular on three aspects: (1) the economic drivers of SALW exports by means of a standard gravity equation of trade; (2) the internal characteristics of the importer country, namely the degree of militarization and the attitude to violence exerted by government against citizens; (3) the impact of international constraints on SALW trade by highlighting in particular EU and UN embargoes. We estimate the empirical models for total exports but also distinguishing between the two sub-categories of military and sporting SALW. Findings highlight that (1) there is a complementarity between Italian exports and the importer’s military expenditure; (2) there is a correlation between Italian exports of SALW and both a disregard for physical integrity and a potential for military influence over the government in the importing country; (3) international embargoes reduce substantially Italian SALW exports; (4) UN and EU embargoes seem to have a different impact; (5) There is no evidence of sanctions-busting. In broader terms, this study highlights that unlike the standard patterns observed for civilian goods, political and military factors matter substantially for the international trade of SALW.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1075-1106
Numero di pagine32
RivistaEconomia Politica
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2023


  • Arms trade
  • Small Arms
  • Gravity model


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