ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
18

Georgian and Armenian “Deplorables” and "Desperados" Taking It to the Streets

Georgian and Armenian ruling parties have been until recently basking in the glory of high GDP growth rates. Armenia’s stellar growth performance of 7.5% in 2017 and Georgia’s respectable 5% are, indeed, worthy of praise. However, do these figures really matter for the objective well-being of the majority of Georgians and Armenians? Second, how does economic growth, as measured by GDP, affect people’s subjective perception of happiness? Third, what does it do to crime rates and people’s appetite for political representation, social justice and fairness? ...
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Eric Livny
Ani, I am sure you are a better judge of the Armenian people. From what Ive read, however, there have been quite a number of recen... Read More
Thursday, 21 June 2018 8:08 AM
Guest — Ani
It is interesting to mention about the little degree of patience of Armenians for their rulers, while they could tolerate the same... Read More
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 8:08 PM
Eric Livny
Could not agree more, Simon! I would only add that decent schooling and improved socialization starting from an early age, well be... Read More
Thursday, 21 June 2018 8:08 AM
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Dec
23

Who Gets to Eat from the Growing Pie?

  2017 is shaping up as one of the best years in Georgia’s post-2008 crisis history. The economy is expected to expand by about 5%, beating early expectations and official forecasts by the likes of the IMF and the World Bank. Based on updated GeoStat figures for Q1 and Q2, ISET-PI’s annual growth forecast currently stands at 4.9%. Even that figure is likely to be revised upwards if Q3 growth turns out to be higher than suggested by GeoStat’s preliminary estimate of 4.4%. Georgia is not alone in experiencing a boom. In fact, it is rising with a tide ...
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Florian Biermann
Why is the vocational education reform discussed in the context of redistribution? And even a pension reform is not inherently con... Read More
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 5:05 PM
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Feb
27

Make Kutaisi Great Again!

Have you ever heard about a mysterious law that predicts the size of a city? If you tell me the population of the largest city in a country, I can tell you the size of the second and third biggest cities. In 1949, George Zipf came up with the simple theory called the rank-size rule, or “Zipf 's law.” Applied to the size of cities, this law says that the second city and following smaller cities should represent a proportion of the largest city. For example, if the largest city in a country is populated with one million citizens, according to the law, the ...
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Ia Katsia
Thank you, Florian for your comment. There is of course no official statistics about affiliation of migrants from Kutaisi. It cou... Read More
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 3:03 PM
Florian Biermann
Interesting article. Maybe the 30% of Kutaisis population that left the city were the members of the Kutaisi Clan.
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 8:08 AM
Ia Katsia
Thank you, Simon for interesting point about British Empire. I agree that Zipf s law might hold for the period you referred to. As... Read More
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 3:03 PM
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Jan
28

Georgia and the Gravity of Migration

Whatever Kim Jong-un’s propaganda says about the greatness of his country, it is a fact that nobody immigrates to North Korea but almost everyone wants to get out. Likewise, whatever conservative Muslims say about the depraved West – there is a huge net migration out of Muslim countries into these rotten and decadent Western societies. And also the “socialist paradises” of the past had to take great efforts to make sure their lucky populations did not leave: the Berlin Wall was built in 1961 because the large-scale drainage of labor threatened Eastern Ge...
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Dec
19

What Chile teaches Georgia

In 1991, the former finance minister of Chile, Alejandro Foxley, said in an interview: “We may not like the government that came before us. But they did many things right. We have inherited an economy that is an asset.” About twenty years before, General Augusto Pinochet had toppled the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. Pinochet’s rule from 1973 to 1990 was characterized by severe violations of human rights, yet finally he agreed to hold a referendum on his political future, and when the Chilean people voted against him, he ste...
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Florian Biermann
The Chilean experience is mainly relevant for Georgia because of the way the Chileans dealt with the legacy of an evil regime. The... Read More
Sunday, 25 December 2016 8:08 PM
Eric Livny
Why do we need a bloody and corrupt dictator to teach us the virtues of liberalizing Georgia’s foreign trade or not meddling with ... Read More
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 3:03 PM
Florian Biermann
Of course, it is a highly ideological topic and there is no proof that the Chicago Boys account for Chiles favorable economic situ... Read More
Sunday, 25 December 2016 8:08 PM
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Nov
21

Structural Transformation in Georgia – In the Right Direction at a Turtle’s Pace

  Structural transformation of the economy is one of the most important determinants of economic development. Almost invariably, nations that have managed to pull themselves out of poverty were able to diversify their economies away from low productivity sectors. In advanced countries, productivity differences between sectors are generally small, and growth mostly happens because of productivity improvements within sectors. Developing countries, on the other hand, are characterized by large productivity gaps between the sectors of their economies. ...
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Irakli Shalikashvili
It is a great peace to help you find out what the structural decomposition looks like in Georgia and how productivity of sectors a... Read More
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 11:11 AM
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