ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Oct
14

Is Capitalism the Final Stage of History?

No. In this two-part article I will argue that there are challenges to capitalism on the horizon which are virtually unsurmountable. There are good reasons to believe that in 30 years from now we will not see global dominance of market systems anymore. FUKUYAMA VS. MARX A few weeks ago, one of the worldwide most influential thinkers of the last 30 years visited Tbilisi to give a speech at the Free University: Francis Fukuyama. Fukuyama became famous through his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992) which offers a reinterpretation of Hegelian id...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Putting this article out is surely an act of bravery. I'll be very happy to continue discussing after you publish the second part.... Read More
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:10 AM
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Sep
30

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Does Motivation Matter?

In summer, social media were flooded with videos showing your friends (and celebrities of all levels of prominence) pouring buckets of icy water over their heads. While some people enjoyed watching this (and even participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge), many were unnerved by this charity campaign which was hardly distinguishable from an ordinary spam attack, were it not for the fact that now your friends and acquaintances were spamming you. A third group however, showed the most interesting reaction: they became moral about it. For those who do not kno...
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Guest — Eric Livny
This discussion is quite relevant to a very wide range of phenomena. For instance, what immediately springs to mind is the concept... Read More
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Gregory Levonian
Florian and Saba are right, but for the wrong reasons. To condemn selfish motivations for doing good deeds is flawed. One could ar... Read More
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 3:03 PM
Guest — Zurab Garakanidze
how can I submit a blog?
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 4:04 PM
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Sep
16

Who Defends the Workman’s Interests?

Assume you want to buy tomatoes at a vegetable market in Tbilisi. At a booth, you see beautiful tomatoes of flawless quality, red, fleshy, and shiny. Right next to them are offered semi-rotten tomatoes with corky blotches, but to your surprise, both kinds of tomatoes are tagged with the very same price. “Something wrong with this seller”, you may think and buy the shiny tomatoes. When we speak about market failure in economics, we usually mean that the economy is in a situation in which we can make everybody better off without making anybody worse. A sta...
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Jun
23

On Soviet Science

As an active chess player, many of my Georgian acquaintances happen to be old men, and among them are several former Soviet scientists: physicists, mathematicians, statisticians, and engineers. Ever since I am living in Tbilisi, they like to pull my leg regarding my scientific achievements. “With a Ph.D.”, they enjoy to say, “in the Soviet Union you would have been not more than a ‘candidate of science’”. Talking with my chess friends, I came to the conclusion that old Soviet professors are prone to hierarchical thinking. And when I was collaborating wit...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Soviet science is obviously more than just Lysenko's pseudo-science. After all, the Soviets put the first sputniks and the first m... Read More
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 1:01 PM
Guest — Michael
Not much to say, I am a lazy writer, but this book (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6205.html) about Akademgorodok is an insight... Read More
Friday, 27 June 2014 2:02 PM
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Jun
16

Georgia – A Country Between Poland and Korea

In the first part of this article (available also on the homepage of The Financial), I described some of the adverse incentives resulting from a social welfare system. Then I argued that according to Simon Kuznet’s famous paradigm, increasing inequality is hardly evitable when a country enters a growth trajectory (as Georgia did in 2003), and I reasoned that it is at least an ambivalent (not to say questionable) policy for Georgia, at its current state of development, to fight inequality by social welfare measures. In this vein, the articl...
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Jun
13

The Economics of Prostitution

When thinking of “market distortions” we typically imagine government regulations, taxes and subsidies that prevent market mechanisms from achieving an optimal outcome. For example, if you pay $100 for a 30-minute taxi ride (as is the case in many European capitals), you can easily relate it to a government regulation requiring all taxi drivers to be licensed (at a very high cost). In the absence of such a requirement many more drivers would be able to enter the taxi driving profession, increasing supply and reducing prices. However, the government is no...
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Guest — Saba
First of all thank you for your comment. So you mentioned about possibility of increased demand, I agree that it might "activate" ... Read More
Sunday, 15 June 2014 6:06 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Legalisation of prostitution in many Australian states lead to a huge increase in demand; once it was no longer unlawful to be a c... Read More
Saturday, 14 June 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Saba
The same arguments can be applied to men's prostitution as well. However, to be honest I talked only about women's prostitution be... Read More
Monday, 16 June 2014 10:10 AM
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