ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
03

Does Competition Spoil People?

Many of the influential critics of capitalism shared a sentiment that life under competitive pressure is not good for human beings. Marx felt deep uneasiness about the fact that workers have to “sell” their workforce -- he feared that this would contribute to “alienation” between the worker and their work. One of the main objectives of the Socialist society was therefore to create a new kind of human, a human who would not compete with others in the market arenas and who would not be driven by selfish motives. Rather, the human grown in Socialism would c...
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Guest — tbilisipr
Great piece, indeed we can still observe early stage economics and marketing in practice with many sectors - not least the food se... Read More
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Andrew, I tend to agree with many of your points. Indeed, competition and "markets" are not the only (and not always the best) mec... Read More
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 10:10 AM
Guest — Andrew Parkinson
Yes, competition between restaurants, bakeries, shops, etc. is largely a good thing, but that is hardly a particularly novel obser... Read More
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 7:07 PM
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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...
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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
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Dec
22

Did the Patriarch Cause a Baby Boom in Georgia?

In October 2007, responding to the problem of very low birthrates in the country, Ilia II. of Georgia, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, announced that he would personally baptize any third and subsequent child born to Orthodox families from that time onwards. This promise seems to have had a considerable impact on the reproduction behavior of Georgians. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia (NSOG), the number of births increased from about 49,000 in 2007 to about 57,000 in 2008 and 63,000 in 2009. This is a remarkable 28% increas...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
It is a very interesting article. Certainly economic growth creates favourable conditions for people to marry and start families, ... Read More
Monday, 22 December 2014 7:07 PM
Guest — Lasha Lanchava
Thank you Simon. Great point regarding marriage rates. It is in fact possible to compare number of marriages before and after the ... Read More
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 3:03 AM
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Dec
19

Bringing Light to Georgia’s Darkest Corners

Nodar Dumbadze has a reputation for bringing tears and laughs out of his readers. Yet, when watching his “Hellados” performed in the tiny municipal “Culture House” in Terjola, we were laughing and crying not only in appreciation of Dumbadze's rare ability to weave tragedy and comedy into a single narrative. We were certainly moved by Dumbadze’s story of teenagers growing up in the tough multiethnic environment of Sukhumi, the love-hate relationship between the Georgian Jemal and the Greek Ianguli, and their ultimate love for their homeland. But, perhaps ...
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Guest — mfmsm
It had it. It was called TLG. It was removed for reasons no-one understood, and replaced with a simulacrum. Voila tout.
Friday, 19 December 2014 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks, Simon! This is a wonderful example... I am familiar with a few others. Israel used to give young people (particularly wome... Read More
Friday, 19 December 2014 11:11 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
After the Second World War, Australian higher education, although almost totally state-run, was run on a full cost-recovery basis.... Read More
Friday, 19 December 2014 10:10 PM
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Dec
15

The Economics of Great Personalities

Some weeks ago, I was invited by a development bank to the Hotel Eden in Kvareli, Kakheti, where we discussed Georgia’s possibilities to develop economically. When we talked about the potential of the manufacturing sector, one of the attending bank employees said: “The problem is that Georgia does not have Rudolf Diesel and Nikolaus Otto.” I think that there is some truth in this sentence, which one might alter so that it fits better to modern times: “The problem is that Georgia does not have a Mark Zuckerberg/Steve Jobs/Bill Gates/Larry Page” or, to rem...
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Guest — RT
> If Einstein was born to smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, it is unlikely that his great potential would have materialized. I hear... Read More
Monday, 15 December 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Florian
The problem is the vicious nepotism. If jobs are assigned primarily by connection, not by qualification, of course it is unattract... Read More
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Nino
Indeed, we need to get the institutional framework right.Unfortunately, today people, who could be great personalities do not have... Read More
Monday, 15 December 2014 12:12 PM
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Dec
12

Traffic Traumas

Recently, one of the authors of this article was crossing a street with a crowd of people at green pedestrian light close to Marjanishvili metro station, when a Mercedes was accelerating and heading towards the people, ignoring the red light, making the crowd splash in all directions. A police car was standing nearby, doing nothing. Walking and driving in Tbilisi is usually dangerous and stressful. When walking around, pedestrians must continuously monitor the cars in their vicinity, even when walking on the sidewalks. The task of avoiding to be hit by c...
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Guest — TTT
Well,to my knowledge we already have fines for both Pedestrians and Car Drivers and Cameras as well; The problem is enforcement of... Read More
Friday, 12 December 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Nino
In fact, there has also been fines for pedestrians in Georgia and it was enforced in the years 2006-2007. However, for some reason... Read More
Friday, 12 December 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thank you for your comment, Nino! Publicly shaming reckless drivers would be an excellent component of the overall policy solution... Read More
Saturday, 13 December 2014 11:11 AM
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