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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
26

Agricultural Productivity in Georgia and Armenia, a Sequel

In his blog post “The puzzle of agricultural productivity in Georgia and Armenia” , Adam Pellillo raises the following question:  Georgia seems to be the only former Soviet republic in which agricultural productivity hasn’t returned to or exceeded its level in 1992. As of 2010, agricultural productivity stood at only 77 percent of where it was at nearly two decades ago. Why hasn’t agricultural productivity improved in Georgia over the past two decades, while it has at least recovered in every other former Soviet republic? It is even more p...
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Guest — Giorgi
My father has a farm service center and mechanization service center in Shida Kartli Region (Kaspi District). He provides agricult... Read More
Monday, 26 November 2012 3:03 PM
Guest — Eric
Seems like Kvemo Kartli to which Marneuli belongs is quite low on income per household. Local households report a very high portio... Read More
Monday, 26 November 2012 8:08 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
It is worth looking at houshold incomes in Marneuli also, a district with an Azeri-majority population.
Monday, 26 November 2012 6:06 PM
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Oct
12

The Puzzle of Agricultural Productivity in Georgia (and Armenia)

While more than half of all jobs in Georgia are in the agricultural sector, agriculture’s share of value added to GDP was only 11 percent in 2007 (World Bank). And although Georgia was a major producer of food, wine, tea, and mineral water during Soviet times, most of the food products on the shelves today are imported from abroad (FAO). Yet what is even more remarkable is that Georgia seems to be the only former Soviet republic in which agricultural productivity hasn’t returned to or exceeded its level in 1992. As of 2010, agricultural productivity stoo...
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Guest — NN
Well, low agricultural productivity in Georgia stems from a wide variety problems. Here are few of them: low priority on the gover... Read More
Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:10 AM
Guest — Agricultural Productivity in Georgia « YFN Georgia LLC
[...] ISET poses questions regarding why Georgia’s agricultural productivity remains below 1992 levels, [...]
Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:11 AM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Interesting questions, and I am sure the incoming Ministers will be pondering how to address this. Some brief responses have been ... Read More
Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:11 AM
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Apr
24

The "Over-Education" Trap

In recent years, many countries in Europe and the former Soviet Union have seen an explosion in university enrollment. During approximately 10 years (from 1999 until 2010) higher education enrollment increased by 64% in Central and Eastern Europe, 27% in Central Asia and South Caucasus, and 19% in Western Europe and North America (see UNESCO).     1999-2005 2005-2010 1999-2010 Low enrollment  level in 1999  (below 30$) Country ...
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Guest — RT
Very true. One should add high unemployment. With no job, youth would either head to streets or to colleges. So those with ambitio... Read More
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 6:06 PM
Guest — Salome
Yes, at some point I agree with you and dear RT. We have too look from another direction. High unemployment and economic crisis c... Read More
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric
Randy, you are of course right, these data are not 100%, and maybe even not 90% correct. In fact, the strongest distorting factor ... Read More
Friday, 27 April 2012 4:04 PM
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Apr
22

Sex Ratio at Birth: is the South Caucasus Heading the Way of China?

This year, approximately 113 baby boys are born in China for every 100 baby girls; 112 boys per 100 girls in India, 111 in Vietnam. The looming social crisis stemming from the significant gender imbalance in the countries of East and Southeast Asia has been in the media spotlight for a long time. Unfortunately, the problem of gender imbalance is not confined to Asia. According to the UN database, between 2005 and 2010, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia held second, third and fourth place in the world after China in gender imbalance statistics. The ratio o...
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Guest — Maka
Thank you Yasya. This problem should be raised by different parts of the society. Your article as an economist’s view and suggeste... Read More
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 4:04 PM
Guest — Yasya
Interesting theory! I have heard of the "returning soldier effect", although cannot say much about the exact biological causes.I a... Read More
Thursday, 01 December 2011 12:12 AM
Guest — Yasya
I just checked the UN database again - based on five year averages there was absolutely no change in the sex ratio at birth for an... Read More
Thursday, 01 December 2011 12:12 AM
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Feb
29

Bread and Circus in the South Caucasus

Last week, The Economist published a comparison of the costs of pancake ingredients across many countries of the world. The pancake recipe used for the calculations included flour, eggs, milk and butter – all of which are also part of the Khachapuri Index regularly compiled by the ISET Policy Institute. Thus, incorporating Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia was a piece of (pan)cake! Table 1: Cost of pancake ingredients (12-15 portions) in the South Caucasus, USD   The good news is that pancakes (and khachapuri) are still a lot cheaper to cook in the S...
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Guest — Zak
Indeed a puzzling finding for an outsider. However, knowing one of the countries pretty well I guess this is a clear demonstration... Read More
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 3:03 PM
Guest — Eric
Thanks for noting - I changed the title to South Caucasus. As for Georgia being more liberal than Armenia, in the context of the a... Read More
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 11:11 PM
Guest — i.j.
Well, I wonder who decided to use the word "Caucasus", not even "South Caucasus" or "Transcaucasia", but "Caucasus" when somebody ... Read More
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:10 PM
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Dec
11

Good News for Some, Bad News for Others

From RFE/RL: Cash remittances sent home by thousands of Armenians working in Russia and other countries increased by more than 23 percent in the first 10 months of this year compared to 2010, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. While this sounds like unambiguously good news for Armenia, it is not. Remittances can have a very similar effect as natural resources wealth – it gives rise to what is called the Dutch Disease. Both remittances and exports of natural resources result in an inflow of foreign currency into a country. While this ...
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Guest — moonshine
One reason remittances are up is that some time after 2008 Armenia may have started experiencing another round of labor emigration... Read More
Sunday, 11 December 2011 10:10 PM
Guest — i.j.
Nice analysis, sorry to ask, what are the export industries in Armenia? A little bit of cooper, agriculture (a little bit), proces... Read More
Sunday, 11 December 2011 9:09 PM
Guest — Michael
The Dutch Disease is actually quite relevant for all countries of the South Caucasus. Clearly for Azerbaijan, but also for Armenia... Read More
Monday, 12 December 2011 12:12 AM
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