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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
20

Money Can’t Buy Happiness. Or Can It? A Case Study from Yerevan

I have been living away from Yerevan for four years. Over these years, every time I visited my city, I noticed more and more new (and fancy) cafes. Over time, I also noticed that café visits seemed to grow in numbers and I started wondering whether it was just my impression or the reality. I have been particularly puzzled by the paradoxical nature of the fact that people always complain about their wages and living standards, yet they do not mind spending money in cafés. Wouldn’t they be better off by saving money and use it to improve their long-term li...
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Guest — Hovakim
Good job Laura, thanks for an interesting study.
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 2:02 PM
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Nov
05

Is Russia Back as the Main Foreign Provider of Electricity to the Georgian Market?

After a generation deficit of August, Georgia continues to exhibit a decreasing trend in power generation; compared to August, total electricity generation has decreased by 14% in September 2018. Georgian power plants generated 849 mln. kWh of electricity, while consumption of electricity on the local market was 955 mln. kWh. It should be noted that compared to August, electricity consumption has decreased by 9%.Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September, Georgia had to import electricity from foreign power markets. Ove...
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Oct
01

Georgia Becomes a Net Importer of Electricity Even During the Summer Period

  In August 2018, Georgian power plants generated 985 mln. KWh of electricity (a 5% decrease in total generation, compared to the previous year and a 22% decrease with respect to July 2018), while consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,049 mln. kWh (+1% compared to August 2017, and -4% with respect to July 2018). Consumption to exceed generation by 64 mln, which is 6% of total consumption and 7% of the amount generated. As it can be seen in Figure 1, the emergence of a generation-consumption gap was not totally unexpected. Not only it...
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May
12

Is Abkhazia Consuming Too Much? – March 2018 Electricity Market Review

In March 2018, Georgian power plants generated 997 mln. KWh of electricity (+35% compared to March 2017, and + 7% compared to February 2018). Nearly a quarter (24 %) of this electricity was produced by the Enguri and Vardnili hydropower plants, which produced 188 mln. kWh and 49 mln. kWh, respectively. Consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,116 mln. kWh (+9% compared to March 2017, and +5% compared to February 2018). Around 19% of this electricity was consumed by Abkhazia (207 mln. kWh). The Enguri and Vardnili HPPs represent nearly the onl...
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Apr
16

A Good February for Electricity Generation: Time for Reflection, After Last Year’s Worries

  In February 2017, Georgia experienced the largest gap between generation and consumption in the last decade. This was followed by an even greater gap in March 2017. The size of those gaps, and the fact that the historical trend was suggesting an increase in the electricity gap, prompted policy proposals emphasizing the need to encourage investments in power generation. The goal of such policies would be to avoid future energy security challenges due to electricity shortages and fast increasing electricity prices. Most of the strategies suggested s...
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Mar
26

On Pepsi, McDonald’s and the Promised Land

Back in 1991, I attended a big “Does Socialism Have a Future?” conference hosted by my alma mater, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The session I remember most vividly featured a Hungarian dissident, a poet, ridiculing ineffective communist propaganda. “Communists”, he told a sympathetic audience, “tried to convince us that jeans can cause impotence in young males, and that Coca Cola is bad for people’s health”. At this point, a trembling female voice could be heard in the back of the conference hall: “But Coca Cola is bad for people’s health! ◊ ◊ ◊ ...
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