ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
20

Education for the Poor

Worldwide, cash transfer programs are used to fight poverty. Developing countries typically spend between 1% and 2% of GDP on cash transfers (“Cash Transfers: a Literature Review”, DFID Policy Division, 2011). International donors also invest substantially into such programs. The rationale for cash transfers goes beyond relieving short-run poverty. In their 2011 book Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, eminent development economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo explain the approach as follows: People are poor bec...
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Guest — Helene Ryding
Economists tend to think that all money is the same. If you are poor, then you simply don't have enough, and are forced constantl... Read More
Friday, 20 February 2015 7:07 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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Nov
21

Agricultural Cooperatives Fishing for Competitiveness

Located in a beautiful gorge between Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro, Chkhakaura village is home to tough Guruli trout fishermen. The village is difficult to reach even in a sturdy 4x4 SUV, but this does not prevent locals from taking advantage of dilapidated Soviet infrastructure and unique natural conditions to grow trout. They are five men, ages 20 to 45, who have been in joint trout farming business for more than 4 years, selling fish, roe and fry in the nearby Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro villages. Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro happen to be premier Georgian mineral wa...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Yes, a new government agency created to register farmer coops...
Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:12 AM
Guest — RT
Is ACDA an agency of the Georgian government?
Friday, 21 November 2014 9:09 PM
Guest — Sulkhan Khalvashi
Dear Eric,Can you share "Samegobro 2014”'s contact information?I represent the company who is interested in buying products from l... Read More
Monday, 24 November 2014 12:12 PM
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Nov
14

The Spinning of Georgia’s Political Carousel, 2004-2014

The sacking of Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s Defense Minister since October 2012, sent shock waves through the country’s political system. But it should not have. After all, Alasania is one of 9 incumbents in this key ministry since 2004. Moreover, with 2 years and one month in office he is tied for second place with David Kezerashvili as the longest serving Minister of Defense after Bacho Akhalaia (2 years and 11 months). Fourth on the list is Irakli Okruashvili (one year and 11 months). All other ministers served between 3 and 8 months. Neither should Ala...
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Guest — Eric Livny
My use of the Laffer curve metaphor was in no way meant to suggest that tax revenue maximization should be anybody's objective. Go... Read More
Friday, 14 November 2014 3:03 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
An oft-ignored aspect of the Laffer Curve is that a government's objective should not necessarily be to maximise tax revenue. A co... Read More
Friday, 14 November 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Edith
It is funny to see Georgians striving so hard to be a liberal democracy when America is still autocratic. So in a sense, they've d... Read More
Sunday, 16 November 2014 2:02 AM
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Nov
03

Georgia Needs Punitive Damages

A few days ago, I was walking in Kostava Street towards the Philharmony when I passed a construction site that was separated from the sidewalk by a wooden fence. Suddenly, I heard the ugly sound of fabric torn apart. Yes, it had happened! My nice winter coat was ripped up by a rusty nail that stuck out of the fence, causing a huge hole in the coat that went down to the lining. Was it my own fault? Well, it was already dark and the nail could hardly be seen, and I was speaking with somebody walking next to me. Therefore, I think I am innocent. One rather ...
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Guest — Rayray
The same applied to unfixed roads. We live near Gogebashvili St which has been drugged up for weeks (mind you the road was fine!) ... Read More
Monday, 03 November 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — purposefulorg
AND you could get tetanus from a rusty nail if it tears your skin. About Gogebashvili, Rayray is being nice--that road has been t... Read More
Monday, 03 November 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Jeff, sounds like good news, not bad. Ripped coats, or ripped shoulders, somebody should be held responsible for rusty nails and u... Read More
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 7:07 AM
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