ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
22

An Egg Today? Or a Hen Tomorrow? Credit Regulations in Georgia

“We do not need people who will get credit to buy a refrigerator and TV, and end up in the black list” – Giorgi Kobulia, former Ministrer of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia “Long-term financial stability gains are always worth the short-term costs” – Koba Gvenetadze, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia Around two years ago, ISET-PI published a blog article on the problem of over-indebtedness in Georgia. The article stressed the idea that due to notably increased access to finances, an aggressive marketing campaign provided by financia...
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Apr
19

Is Georgia on the Right Path to Reduce Massive Plastic Bag Usage?

  In October 2018, a new law came into force which prohibits producing, importing, and selling single-use bags thinner than 15 microns.1 The second wave of this reform was introduced in April 2019, and expanded to all forms of plastic bags. It is important to ask, why was it necessary to impose a restriction on plastic bags? What are the implications and the expected consequences of the ban? Plastic shopping bags are produced at a rate of one trillion a year and distributed at store checkout counters across the globe. More than two thirds created ar...
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Feb
04

We Don't Need No Regulation: On Georgia’s Dairy and Livestock Sector

  Dairy production in Georgia is a hot topic right now. Over the last couple of years, new state regulations have been adopted in this sector. The most widely discussed recent change in regulations prohibits the use of milk powder in cheese production. This regulation was adopted in 2015, but was amended in June of 2017 in order to better serve consumer interests. While defining terms such as “cheese”, “butter”, and “matsoni” is definitely a step forward, the execution of this technical regulation is associated with many challenges, and Georgian con...
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Jun
11

Sweet Little Lies – Things That Make Us “Happy”

  On May 17, 2017, the Georgian government adopted amendments to the Tobacco Control Law with 85 votes in favor, and only one against. This highly debated new regulation, which bans smoking in public places, was initiated by Parliament member Ms. Guguli Maghradze who just recently discussed the obesity problem in Georgia, which is caused partly by excess sugar consumption. Georgian public which is familiar with statements turning into law considered Ms. Maghradze’s statement as a prelude to enacting a sugar tax in Georgia. During the informal interv...
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Feb
05

The Tale of Two Cities: Are Almaty-Style “Bombilas” the Future of the Tbilisi Taxi Market?

  Recently, the administration of Tbilisi City Hall announced that the Tbilisi taxi market is going to be regulated. The process of switching to a regulatory frame will be gradual. At first, taxi drivers will be obliged to acquire taxi signs and permission from the appropriate authorities. This regulation is not expected to create significant pressure on taxi service providers. At the second stage, however, taxi drivers will be required to pass a technical inspection and satisfy minimal quality standards. The details of all the planned regulations r...
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Dec
05

When Good Intentions Lead to Bad Outcomes. Tree-Cutting Regulations in Tbilisi

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux As economic development progresses, air pollution and the lack of green spaces have become increasingly painful issues for Tbilisi citizens. In our previous blog, Breathing in Tbilisi, we discussed the negative outcomes – in terms of air pollution and tree-cutting – generated by the actions of self-interested developers facing an inert civil society and a local government that is unwilling and/or unable to protect green public spaces. While that is a classic example of market fa...
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