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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

Sophiko Skhirtladze has not set their biography yet

Feb
18

Who Is the Surgeon?

Riddles are fun; sometimes, though, they teach us more than expected. Consider this riddle, for example. A son and his father get into a terrible accident; the father dies immediately while the son is rushed to the hospital for an urgent operation. A minute after being called in, a prominent surgeon steps out from the operating room and says “I cannot operate on this boy; he is my son”. Who is the surgeon? Take a guess! Hopefully, many of you guessed the quite obvious answer: the surgeon is the boy’s mother. The riddle has gained popularity due to the si...
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Dec
14

Are Giorgi and Mariam More Employable than Arthur and Zeynab?

  It all started with a simple exercise for my Master’s project in which I tried to understand the underlying causes of the observed wage gap between ethnic Georgians and ethnic minorities in the country. After more than a decade, a reputable international journal has published a paper reporting on the experimental evidence my colleagues and I collected and analyzed on labor market outcomes for ethnic minority and female citizens of Georgia. Back in 2008, using the Integrated Household Survey collected by the statistics office of Georgia for 2007 an...
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Nov
19

Solving Insolvency

It is that time of year again when our world starts revolving around the World Bank’s Doing Business publication. It is a time when we once more have the chance to brag about how easy it is to start a business in Georgia, about how small the tax burden on businesses is, and about how good we are at enforcing contracts. However, we are unlikely to draw attention to our rank in the Resolving Insolvency indicator, which places us in a bracket alongside countries not necessarily known for their pristine business-enabling environment. Fortunately for Georgia,...
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Dec
18

Behavioral Economics of New Year’s Resolutions

“January is always a good month for behavioral economics: Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year's resolutions. February is even better, though, because it lets us study why so many of those resolutions are broken.” Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University. It is that time of a year when we take time to reflect upon our flaws and weaknesses to find areas where we can make positive changes for the New Year. In our imagination, there is an old self who we will leave behind on the New Year’s Eve, and we will welcome our new 2018 self, hea...
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Feb
06

Failure is Always an Option! Or is it?

“The type of failure we’re talking about is like how frogs lay 20,000 eggs so a few wind up as adults sitting on a lily pad sucking down mosquito dinners” is how the author of the recent Newsweek article describes the rate of failure it takes to breed a handful of unicorns-tech startups valued at more than $1 billion. Failure has increasingly become a chapter in success stories; stories which inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to try, fail, try again, and succeed. Economics, as we have come to know it, is about efficient allocation of resources. R...
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