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How would an energy embargo affect Germany’s economy?

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RUSSIA’S DECISION to halt the supply of gas to Bulgaria and Poland has added fuel to an already heated debate in Germany, which is heavily reliant on the commodity. For weeks the country’s economists and officials have argued over just how much a ban on Russian hydrocarbons would harm the economy. Now it seems imaginable that Russia itself could turn off the taps. What toll would an embargo take? A wide body of research, which examines a range of past disruptions, sheds light on the question.

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The relationships between modern firms are not simple links connecting one producer with another, but a tangle of complex interactions. The breakdown of a seemingly insignificant link in the chain can disrupt firms that are either upstream or downstream of it,…

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