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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
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Feb
15

Young Seedlings of Georgia's Agriculture

Ancient Greeks’ fascination with Georgia was not limited to the Golden Fleece. Legend has it that ‘Georgia’ comes from the Greek γεωργός (Georgios), reflecting the advanced land plowing practices of Georgian tribes, which distinguished them from their nomadic and yet unsettled neighbors. The Georgians (Colchians and Iberians, to be more precise) must have really made a formidable impression on the Argonauts to deserve such a recognition. Fast forward to the 21st century. According to the CIA World Factbook, Georgian agriculture employs a mind-blowingly h...
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Dec
12

Russo-Turkish Drama: a Christmas Gift for the Georgian Economy?

A “STAB IN THE BACK” AND ITS “GRAVE CONSEQUENCES” On November 24th, a Turkish Air Force fighter jet shot down a Russian SU-24 that briefly strayed into its airspace. One pilot was killed, and another member of the Russian military perished in the rescue attempt. Vladimir Putin called the event a “stab in the back” even though he had turned his back on Turkish warnings about incursions into its airspace. Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, facetiously stated that Turkey would not apologize for the event and that Russia should be the one apologizing. ...
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Nov
14

Tax Inspection With A Human Face?

Apostle Matthew was a tax collector in Galilee -- perhaps the most hated occupation in the ancient world.By quitting his job and deciding to follow Jesus, Mathew accomplished one the greatest transformations possible in a person’s life. Modern tax inspectors are certainly not expected to follow Jesus. However, by following insights from behavioral economics, they may gain in respect and social status while also improving tax collection, in Georgia and elsewhere around the world. As discussed in our previous article, Georgia’s tax administr...
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Nov
07

Georgian Tea: Finding New Strength in Unity?

After many years of chaos and utter collapse, Georgia’s once glorious tea industry is again showing signs of life. More and more individual farmers and businesses – mostly very small, but some quite ambitious, such as Geoplant (known for its “Gurieli” brand) – grow, process and pack tea. Despite competition from major producing countries and international brands, Georgian tea has great export potential because of the value attached to it all over the former Soviet Union.  While the potential is clearly there, it is not at all clear what strategy sho...
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Oct
31

In Search of Light in the Hearts of Delinquent Juveniles

Tea Lobjanidze, an education specialist and writer, works at the Avchala juvenile prison. She is a member of the Education and Management Team (EMT), a group of professionals committed to formal and informal education of children. In an interview she gave to ISET-PI’s Lasha Lanchava, Ms. Lobjanidze tells about the realities faced by Georgia’s at-risk youths and her vision of how Georgia can improve the lot of its children. Lasha Lanchava:  Dear Tea, we would like to thank you very much for finding the time to share your experience with us. We believ...
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Sep
26

Georgian Farmers Playing Russian Roulette

On August 20, 2015 a strong hailstorm hit Georgia, devastating crops and infrastructure in eastern Kakheti. In Kvareli alone, the hailstorm destroyed about 1,300ha of Saperavi and 1,000ha of Rkatsiteli grapes, affecting more than 500 families. This was only one in a string of natural disasters striking Georgian farmers in recent years. One of the worst calamities occurred in July 2012, when heavy rain, strong winds, hail and floods damaged thousands of hectares of arable land in Kakheti, ripping roofs and destroying vital infrastructure.   Whil...
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