ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
26

What Happens When Institutions are Designed to Provide Bullet-proof Protection against Fraud?

DESIGNING LIBRARIES  “Shock and awe” is a US military term describing the use of overwhelming power to demoralize the enemy, as applied by the American military in Iraq. “Shock and awe” would also aptly describe my emotional state when I entered, at the age of 23, the magnificent reading room at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This was the moment when I – a former paratrooper and an officer with one of Israel’s security services – understood how badly I want to acquire an education. Not technical knowledge or skills, but an education.    ...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Simon Appleby
Co-op size of 3-5 members makes perfect sense for the current Georgian reality. People related by blood or marriage, who have long... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Nikita
Coop growth diagnosticsCan you answer the following questions?1. Why do Georgian farmers form coops? Do they want to grow their bu... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for asking these questions, Nikita... I like the approach of tacking the so-called binding constraint(s), which would of co... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 7:07 PM
Continue reading
2649
8 Comments
Write a Comment
Mar
13

Save the Georgian Bazaar!

Open-air markets, so called bazaars, are considered by many Georgians to be relics of the past. Progressive people buy in supermarkets with all its amenities: clean areas, shiny floors, the temperature regulated at a convenient level, the products placed in order and often arranged tastefully. Only backward people buy in a bazaar if there is a supermarket available. This shift in shoppers’ preferences is illustrated by changes in the market structure. Five years ago the only big supermarket in Tbilisi was Goodwill, but the presence of supermarkets increa...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Robert Morger
I agree totally. Also bazaar and street market make a city attraktive and unique, if I could not buy my greens, fruits and puri i... Read More
Friday, 13 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — megiddo02
Thank you, Adam. I am a pessimist by nature, and so I think that the two-track regulatory system could easily bring about all kind... Read More
Saturday, 14 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Adam
Bazaars and the smaller street-side marketplaces play a huge role in Georgia's economy (especially in the regions), so it's good t... Read More
Saturday, 14 March 2015 1:01 AM
Continue reading
4086
8 Comments
Write a Comment
Mar
10

Khachapuri Index as a Predictor of Structural Changes in the Economy

  In February,  the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri fell to 3.29GEL, which is 3.4% lower month-on-month (compared to January 2015), and 4.8% lower year-on-year (compared to February 2014). The main ingredient of Khachapuri is Imeretian cheese, and, naturally, its price is the main driver of ISET’s Khachapuri Index. Over the years, we have been observing a sharp upward movement in the price of cheese from July till January, and an equally sharp downward movement from February till June.  These seasonal price dynami...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Simon Appleby
The seasonality of Georgian dairy herd calving has not so much to do with artificial insemination. One can manipulate calving seas... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Simon, who am I to argue with a veterinary doctor :-) What I think we can learn from flatter cheese price dynamics is that somethi... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
I would love to say that these improvements are leading to a lower cheese price, but two month's data is perhaps just an anomaly. ... Read More
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 8:08 AM
Continue reading
3056
5 Comments
Write a Comment
Feb
23

Should Georgia Sell its Agricultural Lands to Foreigners?

A BIT OF HISTORY: THE GOOD… Until 2012, Georgia has been encouraging foreigners to purchase land, bring modern technology and management to the country’s ailing agricultural sector. On the one hand, Georgia’s extremely liberal approach was a boon for investment by global food industry giants such as Ferrero (4,000ha hazelnut plantation in Samegrelo) and Hipps (growing of organic apple and production of aroma and apple concentrate in Shida Kartli). On the other, it catalyzed the creation of joint ventures in agricultural production and food processing wh...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — megiddo02
1) What is so terrible about Indian smallholder farmers? Perhaps they do not have a great impact on the economic development of Ge... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
There is nothing wrong about Indian farmers, except for the fear of massive immigration from one of the most populous countries in... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — megiddo02
Interesting, didn't know that they had a land reform. One could still argue that if there is so much land left, why not giving it ... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 1:01 PM
Continue reading
8479
17 Comments
Write a Comment
Jan
20

Farmers without Verve

During the last three months, the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) of ISET-PI was working on a study about family farming in Georgia. Within this project, we conducted interviews with farmers and owners of agribusinesses. These interviews elicited many intriguing facets of Georgian agriculture, but one aspect I found particularly interesting was that Georgian farmers apparently have a rather negative view on agricultural jobs. In Samtskhe-Javakheti we were told the story of a middle-age unemployed man who was offered a job as a shepherd by anot...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Nino
Congratulations on the first piece, Salome! Attitudes are indeed an important aspect of agriculture in Georgia. However, I would s... Read More
Thursday, 22 January 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Salome
Dear Koka, Thanks for reading my blog and commenting on it. Very good point about culture and stereotypes. Culture plays a huge ro... Read More
Thursday, 22 January 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — Koka
"Many young people would prefer to stay unemployed and spend the whole day at so called “birzhas” in their villages (outdoor place... Read More
Thursday, 22 January 2015 4:04 PM
Continue reading
2483
8 Comments
Write a Comment
Dec
04

Agriculture: An Engine of Inclusive Growth in Georgia?

Any observer of the Georgian economy would probably agree that the country has too many people employed (or, rather, under-employed) in agriculture. Historically, many countries have experienced a secular decline in the share of employment (and GDP) related to the agricultural sector. Yet, Georgia has seen limited structural change out of agriculture (other than, perhaps, into seasonal or permanent labor migration). For more than a decade, the share of employment in the agricultural sector has been around 52-54%. As illustrated in the figure below, the r...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Adam
True, though given that much of the economic activity taking place in the agricultural sector is informal and unreported (or under... Read More
Friday, 05 December 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Unfortunately, according to Geostat, growth in the agricultural sector in the first two quarters of 2014 has been stagnant and lag... Read More
Friday, 05 December 2014 5:05 AM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Consolidation of land holdings is hard when a large proportion of landowners of small plots live in Moscow, Tbilisi or Istanbul. E... Read More
Friday, 05 December 2014 12:12 PM
Continue reading
3851
9 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners