ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jan
23

“The Paradox of Gifts: I Know What I Have Given You. I Do Not Know What You Have Received” - Dr. SunWolf

In 1993 Joel Waldfogel published a paper “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas” in which he declared that the tradition of gift-giving causes economic losses for society because recipients generally value the items they receive as gifts less than the price that was paid by the givers. The source of this inefficiency is caused by the fact that the buyer is not the final consumer of a good and thus there may be a mismatch between the giver’s and the receiver’s preferences. Waldfogel’s study showed that gifts from friends and other people very close to the reci...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Nino
Of course, we will. Happiness of our loved ones is in our utility function and we will want to see them happy, no matter 20% more ... Read More
Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Muhammad Asali
Thank you Maka for your nice post. Ending it with a happy comment is also appreciated. Notwithstanding, as a human being first, an... Read More
Saturday, 26 January 2013 11:11 AM
Guest — Eric
A very interesting point, Muhammad (last paragraph)! I understand that the wedding gift tradition in Israel is now to cut checks. ... Read More
Saturday, 26 January 2013 9:09 PM
Continue reading
2687
4 Comments
Write a Comment
Jan
09

Snobbism and Status Concerns – Primitives of Georgian Socio-historical Psychology and Their Economic Implications

A bit of history: In 1905, Max Weber, in his masterpiece, “The Protestant Ethics and Spirit of Capitalism”, proposed an interesting hypothesis which claimed that Protestantism, Calvinism and Puritan ethics influenced development of capitalism. Since, Catholic Church rejected worldly affairs and constantly preached for its parish that the goal of existence is afterlife rather than life itself, it also implied rejection of pursuit of wealth and possession. Starting from the 17th century, emergence of various Protestant church movements, first in Engla...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Good stuff Giorgi, although I differ with several things here. I think this is exciting stuff and should be taught in all "growth ... Read More
Thursday, 10 January 2013 7:07 AM
Guest — Giorgi Mekerishvili
Thank you Professor Sanjit. I looked over the paper and I think that it really says much about how people reason. When I was readi... Read More
Thursday, 10 January 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Giorgi, your understanding in the first paragraph is correct. Evidential reasoning works whenever strategic interaction takes plac... Read More
Thursday, 10 January 2013 1:01 PM
Continue reading
2165
10 Comments
Write a Comment
Dec
22

Money Can Buy Me Love, In The Caucasus

This blog post is a sequel to “Price of a Woman: Economic Rationale behind Marriage Payments in Georgia”. I recently found very interesting data about bride prices in the Georgian highlands and the North Caucasus, which I am now going to share with you. Payment to a bride's parents was widespread in the Georgian highlands and the North Caucasus. This custom was rooted in local traditions and everyone obeyed it. Bride prices were either paid in money or its equivalent in livestock, most commonly in oxen. The price would vary according to the social standi...
Tags:
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Florian
In Georgia the market mechanism seems to work. At least in the highlands, the market reacted to the shortage of women by implement... Read More
Thursday, 27 December 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — William Ellis
Thank you for this post and your interesting blog.I've recently had experience of bride prices. I've been involved with a charity ... Read More
Saturday, 29 December 2012 5:05 PM
Guest — Maka
Dear William and Florian,Thank you for your interesting [email protected] : Related to Romanism. I believe Romantism was involved... Read More
Sunday, 20 January 2013 5:05 PM
Continue reading
2266
4 Comments
Write a Comment
Aug
22

Price Of a Woman: Economic Rationale Behind Marriage Payments in Georgia

We economists tend to search for economics behind everything. It's as if it is some kind of disease, for which there is no cure. I admit, I myself suffer from it. Last weekend I visited Shatili, a historic highland village in Georgia located near the border with Chechnya. This unique fortress built with stone and mortar, isolated from the rest of the world makes you think about your ancestors. Our guide told us many interesting facts about people from the highlands, and one of them attracted my attention very much. Particularity the existence of “Urvadi”...
Tags:
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — G.T.
Very nice and interesting topic discussed in an interesting way. I just want to express my opinion about the Bride Price and Dowry... Read More
Thursday, 23 August 2012 5:05 PM
Guest — Maka
G.T. Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that nowadays couples themselves possess and have official right on their prope... Read More
Friday, 24 August 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Eric
A great, mind-boggling post…It could be about population density but not for the reason stated in Maka’s post. In a sparsely popul... Read More
Saturday, 25 August 2012 12:12 AM
Continue reading
2650
5 Comments
Write a Comment
Jul
25

From “failed state” to role model – what Greece can learn from Georgia

In the 1990's, my brother traveled in Georgia with a friend. They were cruising around with an old van, looking for archaeological sites and other cultural heritage. Every 10 kilometers they were stopped by police who politely asked for baksheesh. My brother’s friend hated corruption, and, more significantly, had severe difficulties controlling his temper. After this pathetic annoyance was constantly going on for days, he became angry and shouted at the policemen: “Your country is the most rotten place on earth. I will never come back to Georgia and I wi...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — nikos avgeris
The issue of corruption is indeed a very important one and at the centre of the debate lately. However i find myself rather disagr... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 1:01 PM
Guest — Florian
I am not a greek-hater. I were in Greece probably around 20 times ... I know Rhodes like my home town, I was hiking two weeks in I... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric
I very much like the post, even though the comparison to Greece is not terribly scientific. Something tells me that if Florian's b... Read More
Thursday, 26 July 2012 3:03 PM
Continue reading
1872
12 Comments
Write a Comment
Jun
26

Georgian decency as a competitive advantage I: The facts

Members of the same nation have the same “cultural background”, which means that they share a good deal of political and social values and ideals, and they tend to believe in the same recipes to solve their problems. Such fundamental attitudes are often shaped by the historical experiences of a nation. For example, England had a kind of merchant democracy since the 14th century, when the House of Commons was founded. In the former Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, merchants had no institutionalized possibility to influence politics. Bribery and utilizin...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Excellent post Florian! You are right in thinking about culture and its possible link to economic variables. I too admire the tra... Read More
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric
A great post, Florian! Every time I take a taxi in Tbilisi I run the experiment that you describe: I stop a cab and get in without... Read More
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Michael
I am not convinced, or rather here I would appeal to economic incentives as a plausible explanation. So far tourism in Georgia is ... Read More
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 3:03 PM
Continue reading
1976
13 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners