ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
25

Water Losses and Operational Efficiency in the Water Sector: Observations and Proposed Policy Interventions

The large and chronic water losses characterizing distribution networks constitute one of the major challenges faced by Georgian water utilities. The water supply generates approximately 700 million cubic meters of non-revenue water (NRW) each year1, considering just the urban centers. High water loss rates create excessive operational costs for the utilities and result in undesirable operational inefficiency in the water supply sector. This creates obstacles — from a financial point of view — to the achievement of full cost recovery and to the appropria...
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Apr
08

Can Quotas Do It?!

Despite substantial improvements in education, professional development and political participation, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions in politics, and Georgia is no exception. In 2017, the country ranked in 94th place (out of 144), according to the Global Gender Gap index (GGI),1 which indicates that Georgia is not performing well in closing the gender gap. The GGI serves as a comprehensive and consistent measure for gender equality, which can track a country’s progress over time. Economic participation and opportunity, educational a...
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Eric Livny
Great article, Lika!A question/suggestion. How about introducing a 40%-50% gender quota for a LIMITED period of 10-12 years? This ... Read More
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 2:02 PM
Lika Goderdzishvili
Thank you, Eric! That could be an option in general, however, political environment and institutional development play a crucia... Read More
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 3:03 PM
Florian Biermann
The article discusses the technical question of how one could implement a quote. The question whether a quota is a good idea in th... Read More
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 3:03 PM
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Mar
06

Economic Freedom (Act): Do We Need It or Not?

The so-called “Economic Freedom Act” (EFA), which has been a matter of public discussion in recent weeks, refers to two pieces of legislation: (i) a Constitutional amendment from 2010, which requires a referendum for introducing new taxes or increasing the tax rate, and (ii) the Law on Economic Freedom (2011), in force since 2013, setting a number of additional restrictions to government fiscal policy (Table 1). Table 1. Law on Economic Freedom in Short Number of Tax...
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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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Feb
04

How to De-Dollarize in a Smart Way: Lessons from the Georgian and Foreign Experiences

Unofficial (partial) dollarization describes a situation when a foreign currency is used alongside the domestic currency for transactions purposes and as a store value. High partial dollarization is not good for a country, as it ties the hands of its Central Bank when it wants to use monetary policy. In a highly dollarized economy, national currency depreciation can even lead to financial instability. As a transition economy, Georgia is characterized by high levels of dollarization. Therefore, recent waves of lari depreciation has prompted authorities to...
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Jan
21

Money for Nothing: Why Don’t Georgian Students Act Like Investors?

Back in 2005, the Georgian government introduced the Unified Entry Examinations (UEE) for admittance into universities. Before the UEE, each university had their own set of entry examinations and examiners, which opened the system to abuse and corruption. With the introduction of the UEE, the government of Georgia managed to make the system fairer and more transparent. As part of this process, the government provides merit-based scholarships to students, based on standardized test scores. The very best students can get up to 2,250 GEL per year for all th...
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Tamta Bibiluri
Should we expect that all schools in Georgia are as credible as ISET. There is clear threat of corruption, would the government be... Read More
Monday, 23 January 2017 8:08 PM
Salome Deisadze
Tamta, I agree that it creates a lucrative opportunity for corruption and this process needs to be monitored very strictly. Relat... Read More
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 7:07 AM
Salome Deisadze
Well, poor families, who cannot afford to private tutors to pass the UEE with high scores and get scholarship (most schools do not... Read More
Thursday, 26 January 2017 8:08 AM
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