At the State Department, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian of Yale SOM brief the foreign press on the impact of sanctions against Russia

Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Founder and CEO of Yale SOM’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI), and CELI Research Director Steven Tian traveled to Washington, D.C. on August 10 at the invitation of the department of State to inform the foreign press of the impact of the sanctions on the Russian economy.

Sonnenfeld and Tian, ​​who also led TFSA’s high-level work on corporate withdrawal from Russia, discussed their recent research on the state of the Russian economy and assessed claims that sanctions are causing agricultural shortages in the rest of the world.

“The Russian economy is in a much more difficult situation than announced in hand-picked official statistics releases,” Sonnenfeld told reporters.

Tian added: “There is this myth, especially in developing countries, that the US has somehow created a global famine, that US sanctions are causing agricultural commodities to collapse, agricultural costs to skyrocket… contrary to Russian propaganda, the supply of wheat this year, thanks to the bumper harvests of the United States, Brazil, Argentina, several major wheat-producing countries, thanks to the good weather, it is in fact record yields this year.

A working paper co-authored by Sonnenfeld and Tian on the Russian economy has received widespread media attention and more than 75,000 downloads from the Social Science Research Network – the fourth most downloaded paper of the last year and the one of the most downloaded in the history of the site. While in Washington, they and members of their research team also met with senior officials from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department, the State Department, and the Committee on House Foreign Affairs.

“Four cabinet members and the chief state economist told us that our work alone had changed the zeitgeist in the administration as well as the narrative in the media about the truth of the failing economic performance. of Putin,” Sonnenfeld later said.

Watch the briefing.

Read Sonnenfeld and Tian’s working paper on the Russian economy.

Read a commentary by Sonnenfeld and Tian in Yale Insights.

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