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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
14

The Dire State of Business Support Organizations in Georgia

In technological terms, there has never been a better time to be a small or medium size business owner: people can always get ahold of you and you can work wherever you need to. Creating an additional source of income catches people’s interests all over the world; as an additional motivation, we often hear about the launch of yet another program directly helping these businesses, thus making it easier to become a start-upper. And here, the rhetorical question: “why not?!” pops into some people’s minds. Starting a small or medium size enterprise (SME) ser...
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Apr
26

Granted Survival!

Various business support programs have been implemented in many countries across the world. Grants, interest-rate subsidies, and equity participation are among some of the most adopted tools for promoting firms’ performances (Dupont and Martin, 2006). Such assistance programs also have their own objectives. For example, low-interest rate loans and cash transfers to new and small firms are designed to overcome the financial constraints many firms face (Hubbard, 1998). Moreover, these programs may aim to help firms adopt new technologies (Bronzini and Pise...
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Nov
19

Solving Insolvency

It is that time of year again when our world starts revolving around the World Bank’s Doing Business publication. It is a time when we once more have the chance to brag about how easy it is to start a business in Georgia, about how small the tax burden on businesses is, and about how good we are at enforcing contracts. However, we are unlikely to draw attention to our rank in the Resolving Insolvency indicator, which places us in a bracket alongside countries not necessarily known for their pristine business-enabling environment. Fortunately for Georgia,...
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Apr
17

How Businessmen Grow Wings

  Everybody knows Bakar and Tengo (BATE Generals), two businessmen from a very popular Georgian TV series, 'My wife's best friends' ('ჩემი ცოლის დაქალები'), who became incredibly rich from a start-up with a seemingly 'nonsense' idea to export the 'tails' of khinkali (traditional Georgian dumplings) to Bulgaria. Later on, BATE Generals created a special office for ideas, where their relatives and unemployed friends of their friends were solicited to generate promising business ideas. BATE Generals is paying a fixed amount to the idea generator and a ...
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Eric Livny
Thanks for an interesting analysis, Olga! I have a little bit of an angel investor experience in Georgian agriculture, so fully ap... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 6:06 AM
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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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Jan
23

A Case for an Antidumping Law in Georgia?

Protectionism and any kind of import restrictions have supporters in every country, and Georgia is no exception. Recently, I attended a lunch meeting on the need for an antidumping law, organized by Georgian Lawyers for Independent Professions, Governing for Growth (G4G), and the Society of Free Individuals. Participants from different sectors and institutions presented their views on the possible economic consequences of antidumping regulations currently being discussed by the Georgian government. From an economist’s perspective, I believe there are num...
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Gigla Mikautadze
Eric, many thanks for your comments. I agree, that the declared goal of antidumping is to “protect” the local producers, but very ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 2:02 PM
Eric Livny
The purpose of anti-dumping regulations is not only to serve some lobby groups, as claimed in this article. In Georgias specific c... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 7:07 AM
Eric Livny
It is not true that only permanent and targeted dumping can be harmful to domestic producers. Three-four months of dumping could ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 3:03 PM
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