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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Giorgi Tsutskiridze has not set their biography yet
May
12

Removing Educational Bottlenecks

Speaking with managers of companies operating in Georgia, one frequently hears complaints about a lack of certain specialists in the Georgian labor market. For instance, firms operating in the construction sector are often forced to hire foreign experts, as they do not find sufficiently qualified engineers and architects in Georgia. The shortage is particularly pressing in technical subjects and the sciences. The mere existence of this problem contradicts conventional economic wisdom. If there are certain qualifications not available in the labor market ...
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Mar
21

The Crisis in Ukraine and the Georgian Economy

When Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich decided not to sign the association agreement with the European Union and instead opted for a Russian package of long-term economic support, many Ukrainians perceived this not to be a purely economic decision.  Rather, they feared this to be a renunciation of Western cultural and political values, and – to put it mildly – were not happy about this development. The Russian political system, characterized by a prepotent president, constrained civil rights, and a government controlling important parts of the e...
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Feb
24

Should We Regulate?

Last week, we argued that political decision makers have a tendency to overregulate a society, as new laws, even useless or harmful ones, create the impression that politicians are addressing problems in a society. Moreover, we outlined the theory of a military historian who claims that the Red Army was an “overregulated army”, explaining the disproportionate death toll of the Red Army in the Second World War. In today’s article, we will first look at the advantages of regulation, and we will then propose a set of tools called “Regulatory Impact Analysis...
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Feb
17

Regulating Rightly

Regulations apparently address problems of a society in a quick and uncomplicated way, and the call for regulations therefore is one of the most effective weapons in the arsenal of populists. Whether or not a regulation will help to solve the problem, in any case it creates the impression that politicians are doing something. As regulations are so popular among political decision makers, the US Code of Federal Regulations, not including regulations on state level, in 2009 had 163,333 pages. In this article we discuss the cost of regulations, an aspect th...
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Feb
03

The Lari Depreciation

The value of a currency, measured in terms of other currencies, has consequences for the real economy. A more expensive lari, for example, makes it more profitable to import goods into Georgia. The importer has to pay the foreign goods with foreign currency, and when the lari is more valuable, less lari are needed to pay for them. Driven by competition, importing companies will forward some of this cost reduction to the consumers and charge lower prices for imported goods. At the same time, an appreciation of the lari puts a burden on exporters. A bottle...
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Nov
22

Like Teacher, Like Son

Many of us have been lucky to be taught by great teachers, teachers who did not just teach, but inspired and brought out the best in us. Indeed, it is hard to overestimate the impact (positive and negative) of teachers on the children’s minds, their career prospects and aspirations. Understandably, such impact is strongest in weaker social environments where THE teacher is often a beacon of light (and enlightenment), a ‘wailing wall’ of sorts, a leading moral and intellectual authority. Despite that being so, the second half of the 20th century has seen ...
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