ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
31

A New Competition Law for Georgia: Much Ado About Nothing?

The mountain of promises to modify Georgia’s liberal labor code has recently produced a little mouse in the shape of a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili who, according to GeorgiaNews.ge, “branded the new labor code project a “dream of Rosa Luxemburg”. GeorgiaNews.ge also knows to tell that “Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili supported Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili’s position on the matter and thought employers should be the side to enjoy the government’s support “at this stage”. The Prime Minister added employees should ...
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Guest — Karina
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Monday, 03 June 2013 1:01 PM
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May
13

Georgia's Education System Reforms: Corruption is Gone but Where is the Quality?

A country without oil needs smart people! This clearly applies to Georgia. Not endowed with substantial amounts of natural resources, Georgia totally depends on its human resources. Yet how good is the intellectual equipment of the Georgians that is so urgently required for driving the economic development of this country? When it comes to applied knowledge that can directly be utilized for economic activities, the picture is rather disenchanting. According to UNDP data, 81% of Georgian unemployed completed secondary or higher education. Yet as we wrote ...
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Guest — Givi Melkadze
Indeed, the quality of education (particularly, of higher education) is very low in Georgia, and many like myself know it from the... Read More
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 11:11 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
An interesting suggestion, Givi! While I think that there are (still!) enough qualified Georgians to teach some of the technical s... Read More
Sunday, 19 May 2013 6:06 PM
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May
07

Georgian Banks: Friends or Foes?

Once considered the most dynamic sector of the Georgian economy, the banks have recently become a target for fierce criticism by Georgian policymakers and media. In early March, NBG president Giorgi Kadagidze called on commercial banks to reduce interest rates on corporate loans to help accelerate the country’s economic recovery. Bloomberg reports him saying that “interest rates on corporate loans are inappropriately high, between 24 and 30 percent, whereas they should be around 12 percent”. Legislative initiatives seeking to cap interest rates, weaken t...
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Guest — Florian
It is very likely that international investors overestimate Georgia's risk. I am sure that in Europe many people -- though being c... Read More
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 7:07 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
The Georgian banks could of course help their case by avoiding overly aggressive marketing tactics. A recent example is VTB Bank's... Read More
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 2:02 PM
Guest — M
Just to add that one does not need to appeal to extreme riskiness to explain high interest rates/spread. There are many other coun... Read More
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 7:07 AM
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Apr
23

Jobless Growth in Georgia

There is no arguing that during the ten years since the Rose Revolution, the Georgian economy registered an impressive growth performance, averaging 6.6% per annum. Summing up Georgia’s post-2004 growth experience, a recent ISET-PI study (Babych and Fuenfzig (2012)), finds it “remarkable not only in light of the 5.3 percent average growth rate in the 1995-2002 period, but also considering that the average GDP growth rate for European and Central Asian developing countries was about 5.1 percent in the period between 2003-2010.” Yet behind the gliste...
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 8:08 PM
Guest — Eric
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 9:09 PM
Guest — M
What is the evidence for the alleged skill mismatch? When me and Yasya were working on the growth diagnostics study we were lookin... Read More
Thursday, 25 April 2013 3:03 PM
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Mar
19

The Economics of Happiness

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a very special country. When in 2004 King Wangchuck announced that there would be free elections and the kingdom would be gradually transformed into a democracy, people demonstrated in the streets against these reforms. They were so satisfied with their monarchy and their ruler that they tried to urge him not to give away any of his absolute powers to an elected parliament. Also economically, Bhutan is special. It is the only country in the world that does not try to maximize the gross domestic product (GDP). Instead, King Wangch...
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Guest — Eric
Since Bhutan was mentioned, here a scholarly article discussing Victor Pelevin's Generation П From Homo Sovieticus to Homo Zapiens... Read More
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 4:04 PM
Guest — Florian
"Consumer dystopia"? I have to read that book! :-)
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 1:01 PM
Guest — Quji
It is interesting, how more socialist and less socialist countries compare to each other. Also, did the HPI index catch the traged... Read More
Friday, 22 March 2013 5:05 PM
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Mar
01

Free Trade vs. Protectionism: Georgia's Contribution to an Old Debate

Georgia is flooded with cheap Turkish products: tasteless winter tomatoes, clothes, construction materials, you name it. Turkish goods are everywhere – in specialized shops in central Tbilisi, supermarkets, and the Eliava Bazroba. Is this happening because Turkey is our neighbor, because Georgian people love Turkish products, or what? Turkish exports to Georgia have been growing very fast since the Rose Revolution but they received an additional push in 2009, following the signing of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries in Nov...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
There have been unofficial barriers to food imports to Georgia for some years, including eggs and chilled beef. These are now bein... Read More
Friday, 01 March 2013 5:05 PM
Guest — Irakli
I totally agree that those instruments will be very beneficial for development of Georgian agricultural production at some point. ... Read More
Friday, 01 March 2013 8:08 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Reducing taxes is hardly "giving gold bullion" to investors; they have to raise bullion on their own at very high premiums to acco... Read More
Friday, 01 March 2013 9:09 PM
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