ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
18

Who Is the Surgeon?

Riddles are fun; sometimes, though, they teach us more than expected. Consider this riddle, for example. A son and his father get into a terrible accident; the father dies immediately while the son is rushed to the hospital for an urgent operation. A minute after being called in, a prominent surgeon steps out from the operating room and says “I cannot operate on this boy; he is my son”. Who is the surgeon? Take a guess! Hopefully, many of you guessed the quite obvious answer: the surgeon is the boy’s mother. The riddle has gained popularity due to the si...
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Dec
14

Are Giorgi and Mariam More Employable than Arthur and Zeynab?

  It all started with a simple exercise for my Master’s project in which I tried to understand the underlying causes of the observed wage gap between ethnic Georgians and ethnic minorities in the country. After more than a decade, a reputable international journal has published a paper reporting on the experimental evidence my colleagues and I collected and analyzed on labor market outcomes for ethnic minority and female citizens of Georgia. Back in 2008, using the Integrated Household Survey collected by the statistics office of Georgia for 2007 an...
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Nov
19

Solving Insolvency

It is that time of year again when our world starts revolving around the World Bank’s Doing Business publication. It is a time when we once more have the chance to brag about how easy it is to start a business in Georgia, about how small the tax burden on businesses is, and about how good we are at enforcing contracts. However, we are unlikely to draw attention to our rank in the Resolving Insolvency indicator, which places us in a bracket alongside countries not necessarily known for their pristine business-enabling environment. Fortunately for Georgia,...
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Oct
22

One Step Forward on a Long Journey

  “With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), humanity has entered a new phase. The 4IR has become the lived reality for millions of people around the world, and is creating new opportunities for business, government and individuals” – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. The 4IR, as envisioned by Professor Schwab, is about breakthroughs in the fields of artificial intelligence, genetics, computing, etc. that are changing the world in which we live at breathtaking speed. With this vision in mind, the World Economic F...
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Jun
30

Real Estate = Real Investment

Summer is a good time for traveling to the sea, but now I want you to join me in the journey in time. A memory from my childhood in the early 2000s was the discussion among people about the choice between “Khrushovka” and “Chekhuri.” Households were buying flats and making investments in real estate. It is difficult to explore the real reasons why people prefer real estate over other types of investments, but the some of the standard arguments which I was hearing were the following: “if something happens it is still a real estate,” “at least I will have ...
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