ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET

A graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Eric Livny is the founding director and president of the International School of Economics at TSU (ISET) and the affiliated ISET Policy Institute – the first university-based economic policy think-tank in the South Caucasus. In addition to his positions at ISET, Eric serves as advisor to Georgia’s Minister of Economic and Sustainable Development, Dimitri Kumsishvili. He is also heading up the Economic Commission at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Georgia).

Mr. Livny has been living and working in Georgia since April 2007. Prior to that, Eric held leading positions with the Moscow-based New Economic School (which he helped establish in 1992), and the Economics Education and Research Consortium. In 2000-2007, Mr. Livny served as the CIS representative of the Global Development Network (GDN), and led the GDN Bridging Research and Policy Project.

Eric’s policy research and consulting activities span a wide range of issues such as foreign direct investment (FDI), trade and national competitiveness, public private partnerships (PPPs) for economic development, inclusive growth, rural development and agricultural cooperation, economics of education, migration and labor markets, transport and economic geography.

Passionate about blogging and social media, Eric serves as editor-in-chief of, and is a frequent contributor to, the ISET Economist Blog, which he created together with other ISET faculty in 2011. Additionally, he is a columnist with Georgia Today, The Financial, and the Georgian Journal.

Eric was born in St.Petersburg (Russia) but grew up in Israel, where his family emigrated in 1977. He is married to Anna Sekowska Livny, and is the father of Katya (10), Jan (11), Natalie (23) and Tal (25). Eric is fluent in English, Russian, and Hebrew. His Georgian language skills are fast improving thanks to his excellent teacher Tamuna Koshoridze and ISET colleagues.

Apr
19

Bread Should Be Baked By the Baker!

"Sixty-Eight Million Dollars Were Given for Colleges Last Year: – if  the Mania for College Education Continues We May Soon Expect the Above State of Affairs" American and Western European visitors to Georgia are fascinated by the fact that middle-aged Georgian taxi drivers often brandish a couple of engineering degrees, while young hotel receptionists and shop assistants frequently come with law, business and international relations education. Having spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, visitors may come to imagine that Georgia is so abundant in huma...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
473
4 Comments
Write a Comment
Apr
01

"Georgian Railways" Reach a Critical Crossroads

  By Eric Livny, Georgia Today’s special correspondent in Tehran River Astarachay, which divides the Azerbaijani and Iranian nations, is no Rubicon, and its crossing over a newly constructed bridge by an Azərbaycan Dəmir Yolları’s GE/LKZ TE33A Evolution locomotive was hardly noticed by Georgian media. Yet, the project has immense implications for the future of transportation across the Caucasus.  President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Tehran on March 5, 2017 (his third visit to the Islamic Republic in just as many years) was timed to provide him and...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
780
2 Comments
Write a Comment
Nov
28

TUMORROW IS ALREADY HERE

Spending a big chunk of their precious summer vacation in Armenia was not exactly my kids’ dream. Their wish list included far more exotic destinations in Africa, the Far East and Europe’s leading capitals – Vienna, Paris or London. And, yet, it did not take too much convincing for them to go on a one-week trial at TUMO’s summer school for creativity in Yerevan. All I had to do was show a few pictures from TUMO’s website: What was supposed to be a one-week trial turned into a four-week immersion into the world of photography, 3D modeling and animation (...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1092
0 Comments
Write a Comment
Nov
14

Georgian Haves and Have-Nots. Who’s to Blame and What to Do?

Just like the World Bank’s Doing Business, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and many other international rankings, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Transition Reports have typically carried a very positive message for Georgia, Eastern Europe’s poster child of transition since the Rose Revolution of 2003. This year’s Transition Report, launched last week in Tbilisi by Alexander Plekhanov, EBRD’s Deputy Director of Research, is somewhat exceptional in this regard. Subtitled “Equal opportunities in an un...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
987
0 Comments
Write a Comment
Oct
24

The Shortest Road to Strawberry Field Isn’t Always the Sweetest, or Quickest

Nino Kvirkvelia and her husband Irakli Todua are not exactly your typical Georgian smallholders. Both spouses are well-educated (both hold economics and business degrees from reputable Georgian institutions). More importantly in the context of Georgian agriculture, the couple owns 28(!) hectare of arable land in Georgia’s horticultural heaven, Samegrelo, best known for its hazelnuts. This is a fantastic amount considering that the average size of agricultural plots in Georgia is only slightly above 1ha. A natural born entrepreneur, Irakli was among the f...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
429
0 Comments
Write a Comment
Oct
22

Back to the Future: Will an Old Farming Practice Provide a Market Niche for Georgian Farmers?

Back in ancient times, the moon was the center of everybody’s attention. People worshipped the moon and believed that it had mystical powers. Since then, the lunar effect on human mood and behavior has been an issue for psychological and astrological research. Surprisingly, many economic papers are also concerned about the influence of the lunar phases on stock returns. Yuan et al. (2006) found that stock returns (defined as the change in the value of a stock market index) are higher during the new moon period than during the full moon period. This ...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
476
0 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners