ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Mar
05

Poverty in Georgia

The ability of families to meet their most basic needs is an important measure for the development of a country. Poverty touches on questions of human dignity and fairness in a society, but beyond that, poverty causes problems that may impair long run economic prospects, like crime, social unrest, and underinvestment in human capital. Given the libertarian agenda pursued by the United National Movement since the Rose Revolution, one might suspect that Georgia has a poverty problem. Is this true? POVERTY IN GEORGIA According to the ISET Consumer Confidenc...
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Feb
26

Which is Better: Schooling or Homeschooling?

Not long ago I heard an interesting statement from an appreciated person about schooling. He said that the "one-size-fits-all" or "factory" model of schools was an inefficient use of the children's time. According to his opinion, homeschooling could be more effective and yield better outcomes than standard mass education. There is no doubt that the school system children are exposed to have an impact on their developments, starting at a relatively early age. So the topic is important for every country, but in particular for a country like Georg...
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Feb
13

Use of Consumer Confidence Index

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) attempts to capture the expectations of consumers about the future development of the economy.  According to economic theory, optimistic consumers are willing to spend more money and reduce their savings, while pessimistic consumers do the opposite. This is consistent with the intuition that consumption activity and saving behavior are driven by the expectations of the future. Beyond that, the CCI can be a powerful indicator of the well-being of the economy. WHY? If indeed the consumption behavior is driven b...
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Jan
29

Dependence on Global Prices

According to data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in the last five years there were two hikes in global food prices. The first hike was in 2008, when the global food price index reached 224.4 points (up by 46% in year-on-year terms). The second wave started in late 2010, reaching a peak in February 2011 (237.9 points). More recently, the FAO Food Price Index averaged 209.3 points in December 2012, down 2.4 points (1.1%) from November. The downward movement was mostly driven by decreasing cereals p...
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Dec
24

Celebrating the New Year. With an Extra Layer of Cheese

  This is the last issue of the Khachapuri Index column in 2012 (#44 this year and #74 overall since the project’s launch in June 2011). Therefore, we would like to wish our readers many causes for magnificent Georgian supras in the new 2013, with a lot of khachapuri and wine. The ISET Khachapuri Index is based on the prices of six ingredients used to cook the Imeretian khachapuri, which is considered to be the most common in Georgia. However, Imereti has no monopoly on khachapuri and most other Georgian regions have their own traditional recipes an...
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Dec
10

Economic Growth and Income Inequality in Georgia

Poverty and income inequality are two of the top concerns for the newly elected Georgian government. Indeed, despite impressive growth performance (annual growth rates have averaged more than 6% since 2005), Georgia remains a poor country. Once the wealthiest Soviet republic, Georgia fell far behind others (except, perhaps, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova) on almost any parameter of wellbeing. Adjusted for purchasing power parity, Georgia’s annual income per capita in 2011 was in the $5,400-5,800 ballpark (very similar to the resource-poor Armenia). M...
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