ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
20

Did Azerbaijan Enter the Post-Oil Era?

Sometimes, transformation requires a crisis. Economists in particular are very well aware of this maxim. We are reminded of it every time a country undergoes an economic shock. A country in those times is a bit like a patient who gets the last warning from a doctor to drop the unhealthy habits or face irreversible consequences. One of these scenarios has been unfolding in front of our eyes during the past year. Georgia’s neighbor and one of the largest trading partners, Azerbaijan, has been going through tough times. THE UNFOLDING OF A CRISIS In the last...
Tags:
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
2785
2 Comments
Write a Comment
Sep
24

Azerbaijan Economy and the Oil Prices: a Blessing in Disguise?

International crude oil prices, which have hovered at $110 per barrel for the last three and a half years, started a sudden and abrupt downfall in August 2014, reaching a $50 per barrel mark in just five months. More than a year after the event, it looks like the oil price of $50 per barrel is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. BLAME THE TECHNOLOGY The primary reason behind the drop was undoubtedly the technological advances in shale oil and gas extraction in the United States – a boom so big, that the US is now poised to become a net ene...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
2856
1 Comment
Write a Comment
Jun
29

Why Armenia Is Not (Yet) Ukraine?

  Yerevan is presently rife with protest. Dubbed “Electric Yerevan,” the protests are aptly named considering that they began as a result of Armenia’s government succumbing to demands by the country’s electricity distribution monopoly (Electric Network of Armenia (ENA)) to raise regulated tariffs by 16.7% as of 1 August, 2015. ENA is owned by Inter RAO UES, a Russian energy giant, giving rise to suggestions that Armenian officials are effectively serving Russian interests. Yet, the hike in electricity prices, which the government had initially resis...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
3866
9 Comments
Write a Comment
Apr
13

The Complexities Facing the Competition Authority

Economists disagree whether it was a good decision to reestablish the Georgian competition authority. When some years ago it was removed, the underlying logic was that a non-existing authority cannot be corrupt, and, more importantly, cannot harm the economy through misguided decisions. Assuming that corruption will not be a problem for the competition authority, neither now nor in the future, regulating markets is still a highly delicate issue which yields many possibilities to go wrong. WHAT IS THE RELEVANT MARKET? One of the central issues that have t...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
3319
2 Comments
Write a Comment
Dec
25

Georgia: Exporting Christmas Tree Seeds to Europe and Cutting Trees at Home?

Exporting the seeds of the Nordmann fir – a very popular species grown for Christmas trees – is a thriving and fiercely competitive Georgian industry, perhaps the only one in which Georgia has a near monopoly of the European market. According to an industry expert, more than 80% of all Christmas trees sold in Europe have their origin in Racha (Tlugi and Ambrolauri) and Borjomi forests. In 2013 Georgia exported more than 60 tons of fir tree seeds, with a total value of almost $US 2 million ($32/kg on average). Denmark is the largest buyer of Georgia’...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
4708
0 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners