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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
14

Georgian Haves and Have-Nots. Who’s to Blame and What to Do?

Just like the World Bank’s Doing Business, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and many other international rankings, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Transition Reports have typically carried a very positive message for Georgia, Eastern Europe’s poster child of transition since the Rose Revolution of 2003. This year’s Transition Report, launched last week in Tbilisi by Alexander Plekhanov, EBRD’s Deputy Director of Research, is somewhat exceptional in this regard. Subtitled “Equal opportunities in an un...
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Oct
29

Georgian Agriculture: Beacon or Red Lantern?

A question of causality: Does modernization of agriculture lead to economic growth or does growth induce a modernization of the agricultural sector? For many years, this question has been hotly debated among development economists. While those economists who believe in growth-led agriculture (GLA) were dominating until recently, now the proponents of agriculture-led growth (ALG) are afloat again. Which insights does this debate yield for Georgia? THE TRADITIONAL VIEW For a long time, the question seemed to be settled. If one asked a development economist...
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Recent Comments
Florian Biermann
Thanks a lot, Simon, for this interesting reading suggestion!
Friday, 11 November 2016 12:12 PM
Simon Appleby
For heartbreaking real-life case studies of Chinas GLA model, where Chinese peasants were pillaged through punitive taxation (up t... Read More
Thursday, 03 November 2016 4:04 AM
Simon Appleby
I would question the rationale for deliberately focussing on labour-intensive agriculture. Six years ago I had rosy visions of com... Read More
Thursday, 03 November 2016 5:05 AM
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May
23

Georgia’s Revolutions and Economic Development: from 2004 to Present Time

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian nation went through a process of rapid dis-investment and de-industrialization. It was forced to shut down industrial plants, sending scrap metal abroad, and workers into subsistence farming. Hunger has never become an issue thanks to the country’s moderate climate and good soil conditions, yet inequality and associated political pressures rapidly reached catastrophic dimensions, unleashing cycles of violence, undermining the political order and inhibiting prospects of economic growth. *   &nb...
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Guest — Pratik
Thanks for an excellent summary. One quibble : I do not agree that fair distribution of resources is always an obvious trade-off a... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:10 AM
pratik
Thanks, Eric. And I think we will agree there is a flip side too? As seen in US, where absence of universal health care system has... Read More
Friday, 27 May 2016 6:06 PM
Eric Livny
Dear Pratik, I certainly agree, to a CERTAIN EXTENT. It is easy to overshoot with free healthcare and education policies. Too much... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 2:02 PM
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May
16

Georgia’s Revolutions and Economic Development: From Independence to Rose Revolution

Having just celebrated its 25th anniversary as an independent state, Georgia remains in a state of revolutionary flux. Just like a box of chocolate, this beautiful country is full of contrasting flavors, never losing the ability to surprise and fascinate at every twist and turn of its history.  Most paradoxically, while Georgia’s unprecedented reforms have become an export commodity, many Georgian reformers and revolutionaries are wanted at home for abusing the power of their office. Georgia’s laws and institutions continue to be constantly remodele...
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Mar
28

Why Georgia is not South Korea (or Israel)?

Back in October 2014, soon after the introduction of new visa regulations by the Georgian government, I visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea. An unpleasant surprise awaited me on the way back home at the Seoul airport. The young stewardess checked my (Israeli) passport and informed me that, according to the system, I will not be allowed to board the flight (to Istanbul) unless I show a Georgian residence card or buy a return ticket. “But I live in Georgia, and it has never been a problem to come back, nobody ever checked my ticket”, I argued. T...
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Guest — Levan Pavlenishvili
Probably yes, results of previous Tbilisi elections were also names in rhymed with "Chitanava", so I don't have any other choice b... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Levan, you always have great ideas... Just one point - Italy is a union of two large parts (themselves further subdivided), North ... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Levan Pavlenishvili
Maybe we need some more time to learn how to monetize our talents, or start following rules. Many generations in this country live... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
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Jan
11

Is winter tourism in Kyrgyz Republic able to reach international level?

Izat Berenaliev, research fellow of the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Kyrgyzstan, analysed whether Kyrgyzstan's winter tourism sector can reach international level in his article "Is winter tourism in the Kyrgyz Republic able to reach international level? published on the website of the NISS.  Current situation In recent years, winter tourism in Kyrgyzstan develops rapidly and becomes much more popular. There are more than 6 ski resorts with chair lifts and several small bases with regular lifts in Kyrgyzstan. Besides them, there are a...
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