ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
30

Georgian Nepotism

In Georgia, employment is often found not through prevailing in fair, orderly selection processes, but through personal connections. This is a well-known fact almost nobody denies. It is evident in almost every Georgian firm and institution. In a hospital you encounter a “nurse” not capable of the most basic medical accomplishments, in one of Tbilisi’s universities you meet a “cleaning woman” who is mentally ill, known for scaring everybody through aggressive and inappropriate behavior, and in the railway station you buy a ticket from a clerk who knows n...
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Guest — Eteri
Nepotism – one of the forms of corruption – is a use of public office for a private gain that is distributing favors to family mem... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Helene Ryding
It seems to me several issues are rolled into "nepotism" as described here, and they need to be unpacked. First of all, everyone ... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Roba’s general observation is spot on!!! Coffee makers and coffee drinkers of Georgia unite!!! I am truly puzzled by nepotism as a... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 6:06 PM
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Jun
20

Why Care About Informal Employment?

Before answering this question, let us define what economists usually mean with ” informal employment”. There is some confusion with this term, and sometimes it is improperly used as a synonym for tax evasion or illegality. ILO defines informal employment as: employment “consisting of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and incomes to the persons concerned. These units typically operate at a low level of organisation, with little or no division between labour and capital as factors of p...
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May
26

Discrimination in Georgia

On May 2, 2014, the Georgian parliament unanimously passed the law on the elimination of any form of discrimination. The stated objective of the law is to ensure that any physical or legal entity equally benefits from all rights defined by Georgian legislation, irrespective of race, skin color, language, sex, citizenship, place of origin, birth or residence, wealth or class status, religion or belief, national, ethnic or social belonging, profession, marital or health status, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, political or other considera...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Sometime's one man's trash is another man's treasure. Many Turkish-owned companies in Georgia preferentially employ Georgians of A... Read More
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 6:06 AM
Guest — Jeff
There is more to employment discrimination than mere stereotyping. The employer's perception that his or her customers would prefe... Read More
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 1:01 PM
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May
23

Georgian Shadow Economy - its Past and its Legacy

The existence of a sizeable shadow (or second, informal) economy in the USSR was and is well-known. The Soviet era was characterized by a very rigid formal system with a high level of bureaucratization and inefficient planning. This resulted in many problems, both in terms of production and consumption. Soviet consumers experienced constant frustration and dissatisfaction caused by endlessly searching for goods and services they demanded, the need to queue for them without any guarantee of getting what they wanted, and the risk of having instead to accep...
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Guest — Eric Livny
A very interesting aspect of the Georgian legacy! I am fascinated by the contrast between the extremely positive role of honor-bas... Read More
Friday, 23 May 2014 10:10 AM
Guest — Adam
Great piece!
Friday, 23 May 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — NP
This contrast is indeed remarkable. We just need to see whether Saakashvili's "revolution" has been sufficient to alter permanentl... Read More
Saturday, 24 May 2014 12:12 AM
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Feb
06

Looking Over the Border: Immigration to Azerbaijan

Since some years, Azerbaijan experiences an immigration wave. Chart 1 shows the net immigration (immigration minus emigration) to Azerbaijan during the last 22 years. As can be seen, in every year since 2008 more people are immigrating to Azerbaijan than there are emigrating. In 2012, for instance, 2000 net migrants came to Azerbaijan. Migration flows are governed by economic, social, and political motives. One may categorize these to be either pull factors or push factors. Push factors are typically the lack of economic opportunities in the countries of...
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Jun
26

Reforming Vocational Education in Azerbaijan: Back to Future?

Baku today is very different from the Baku of my high school years. I remember riding a tram to school. I also remember my high school sharing a building with a vocational school. Nowadays, you will find neither trams nor well functioning vocational schools in Baku. Although I am not sure about the former, there is increasing evidence, both anecdotal and systematic, that Azerbaijan needs to rejuvenate the latter. In this post I argue that prioritizing Vocational Education and Training (VET) reform may prove to be an important step toward tackling the so-...
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Guest — Eric Livny
In fact, according to available OECD and UNESCO Institute of Statistics data, Georgia is doing much worse than Azerbaijan in terms... Read More
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 1:01 PM
Guest — Vusal Mammadrzayev
Actually, the level of vocational education is not in the desired level in Azerbaijan and does not meet the demands of the labor m... Read More
Thursday, 27 June 2013 10:10 AM
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