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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
04

Crime and Punishment. The Georgian Version

Driving back home after a two-week family vacation in Turkey, a horrific surprise awaited us at the border-crossing in Vale (near Akhaltsikhe). We arrived just before midnight on Saturday, August 26, 2017. What we knew to be a very efficient procedure lasted much longer than the expected 2-3 minutes. And then came the shocking verdict: – Dear Mr. Livny, you will not be able to continue your journey. According to our records, there is an order to have your car impounded. We are not yet sure why, but perhaps you haven’t paid a fine. The officer in charge o...
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Mar
13

How to Prevent the Tobacco Law from Going Up in Smokes?

BACKGROUND After a hike in excise tax on cigarettes in January 2017, Parliament of Georgia is going to introduce legislative changes to the existing tobacco control law (TCL) in March. Since its enactment in 2003, TCL has been modified several times. However, the recently proposed changes can be considered the most radical step towards a tobacco-free society in Georgia. New draft law comprehensively covers production, packaging, marketing, advertising, selling and consumption of tobacco, and other activities of tobacco businesses. The main changes can be...
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Simon Appleby
Good work Giorgi.Something you did not mention is the long-term effect on the public health system and the public pension.As indiv... Read More
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 11:11 AM
Eric Livny
Sir Humphrey Appleby is a straight shooter! Adorable!!!!
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 2:02 PM
Giorgi Mzhavanadze
Thanks for your comment, Simon.I totally agree with you on necessity to assess/review long-term effects on the public health syst... Read More
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 11:11 AM
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Mar
06

Economic Freedom (Act): Do We Need It or Not?

The so-called “Economic Freedom Act” (EFA), which has been a matter of public discussion in recent weeks, refers to two pieces of legislation: (i) a Constitutional amendment from 2010, which requires a referendum for introducing new taxes or increasing the tax rate, and (ii) the Law on Economic Freedom (2011), in force since 2013, setting a number of additional restrictions to government fiscal policy (Table 1). Table 1. Law on Economic Freedom in Short Number of Tax...
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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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Recent Comments
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
Simon Appleby
London until the 1950s was not just the capital of England (or the United Kingdom). It was the capital of the British Empire. So m... Read More
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 12:12 PM
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
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Jan
23

A Case for an Antidumping Law in Georgia?

Protectionism and any kind of import restrictions have supporters in every country, and Georgia is no exception. Recently, I attended a lunch meeting on the need for an antidumping law, organized by Georgian Lawyers for Independent Professions, Governing for Growth (G4G), and the Society of Free Individuals. Participants from different sectors and institutions presented their views on the possible economic consequences of antidumping regulations currently being discussed by the Georgian government. From an economist’s perspective, I believe there are num...
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Gigla Mikautadze
Eric, many thanks for your comments. I agree, that the declared goal of antidumping is to “protect” the local producers, but very ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 2:02 PM
Eric Livny
The purpose of anti-dumping regulations is not only to serve some lobby groups, as claimed in this article. In Georgias specific c... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 7:07 AM
Eric Livny
It is not true that only permanent and targeted dumping can be harmful to domestic producers. Three-four months of dumping could ... Read More
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 3:03 PM
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Dec
05

When Good Intentions Lead to Bad Outcomes. Tree-Cutting Regulations in Tbilisi

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux As economic development progresses, air pollution and the lack of green spaces have become increasingly painful issues for Tbilisi citizens. In our previous blog, Breathing in Tbilisi, we discussed the negative outcomes – in terms of air pollution and tree-cutting – generated by the actions of self-interested developers facing an inert civil society and a local government that is unwilling and/or unable to protect green public spaces. While that is a classic example of market fa...
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