ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
14

Georgia’s Currency is Much More Than the GEL/USD Exchange Rate

It is easy to understand what it means for an economy to be weak or strong. We know that a strong economy is characterized by low unemployment and high growth rates. Other desirable traits are, for example, low levels of poverty and income inequality, when all citizens enjoy reasonable standards of living.  Things are less clear when we think about our national currencies.  When designating currencies as “weak” or “strong”, we usually think of the exchange rate against the dollar or the euro. Having a “weak” currency sounds like a bad thing, wh...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
5356
3 Comments
Write a Comment
Sep
07

Un-Muzzling the Persian Panther: Where Georgia Stands to Gain from an Iran without Sanctions

There is a distant rumble in the regional economy – one with a particularly Persian flair. Iranian commerce and exports are about to enter an unrestricted world market as part of the deal negotiated between Western partners and Iranian leadership over its nuclear enrichment program. If Iran can meet the terms of the agreement, sanctions on its exports and imports will be lifted within the next year. When such a large energy-producing economy goes from near autarky to free trade, this is bound to send ripples through the world economy. Georgia and the Sou...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
2851
0 Comments
Write a Comment
Jul
24

Exclusive Interview with Professor Matthias Matthijs: Greece and the Eurozone Crisis

Today I’m sitting down for a conversation across a continent and an ocean. Our guest is Professor Matthias Matthijs of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is the editor of the renowned and timely book “The Future of the Euro,” and two-time recipient of the Max M. Fisher award for excellence in teaching at SAIS. We will be talking about the Eurozone crisis and the lessons other small-state economies and their policymakers can learn from Greece’s unfortunate situation. Q. Professor Matthijs, thank you for sitting down...
Tags:
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
3683
0 Comments
Write a Comment
Jul
06

The Positive Sides of Georgia’s NATO Partnership (Not Membership)

Since the Rose Revolution, pro-Western Georgian politicians strive to lead their country into the apparent safe haven of the NATO defense collective. So far membership seems far off, causing disappointment among many Georgians and affirming those who preferred less integration in the Western geopolitical bloc. The continuing debate as to whether or not Georgia should assume full membership in the alliance may be obfuscating the reality that the present relationship with the alliance is the most ideal for Georgia.  It allows for a nearly unrestricted...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
5084
8 Comments
Write a Comment
Jun
19

Decriminalize Marijuana?

  According to a recent study, smoking marijuana for many years leads to a severe loss of intelligence: compared with people who did not consume cannabis, the IQ’s of smokers were lower by 13-38 points (Meier et al.: “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife”, PNAS 109, 2012). Moreover, after a long time of consumption, cognitive abilities and memory do not recover when smoking marijuana is eventually given up.  Recently, decriminalization of marijuana became a hotly discussed topic in Georgia. The opi...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
2833
0 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners