ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
14

The Spinning of Georgia’s Political Carousel, 2004-2014

The sacking of Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s Defense Minister since October 2012, sent shock waves through the country’s political system. But it should not have. After all, Alasania is one of 9 incumbents in this key ministry since 2004. Moreover, with 2 years and one month in office he is tied for second place with David Kezerashvili as the longest serving Minister of Defense after Bacho Akhalaia (2 years and 11 months). Fourth on the list is Irakli Okruashvili (one year and 11 months). All other ministers served between 3 and 8 months. Neither should Ala...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Eric Livny
My use of the Laffer curve metaphor was in no way meant to suggest that tax revenue maximization should be anybody's objective. Go... Read More
Friday, 14 November 2014 3:03 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
An oft-ignored aspect of the Laffer Curve is that a government's objective should not necessarily be to maximise tax revenue. A co... Read More
Friday, 14 November 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Edith
It is funny to see Georgians striving so hard to be a liberal democracy when America is still autocratic. So in a sense, they've d... Read More
Sunday, 16 November 2014 2:02 AM
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Oct
17

Handling Frozen Conflicts: the Economic Angle

It now seems more and more likely that Eastern Donbass (the area currently controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics) will become a frozen conflict zone, a territory in which the Ukrainian government will have little power to enforce its laws and where slowly a parallel governance system, an unrecognized ‘quasi-state’, will emerge. In the absence of a viable military alternative, one option likely to be considered by Ukraine and its Western allies is to exercise ‘strategic patience’. As discussed in a Foreign Policy article...
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Guest — Zurab Garakanidze
October 17, 2014 To: ISET From: Z. Garakanidze, Ph.D(Economics), Tbilisi, Georgia; Ass. Professor of the Georgian University. Tbil... Read More
Friday, 17 October 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
An interesting article. Mainland China and Taiwan (another quasi-state backed by a powerful patron) agreed on a basic compact allo... Read More
Sunday, 19 October 2014 6:06 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for your comment, Simon... We limited the scope of the article to the post-Soviet space, but Taiwan-China example is perhap... Read More
Sunday, 19 October 2014 7:07 AM
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Oct
10

How Much Regulation Does a Country Need?

Democracy and Freedom Watch reported October 9, that “Georgia’s controversial new immigration law may be changed”. The law, writes DFW, “has caused a wave of confusion and irritation in the country’s expat community. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili … told journalists that if any defects become apparent after the enactment of the new law, ‘we’ll surely correct it.” Just a month earlier, confusion, irritation and public outrage were caused by another piece of Georgian legislation – a law greatly limiting the sales of non-prescription drugs (see Florian...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
The beloved Politician's Logical Fallacy at work......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vidzkYnaf6Y
Friday, 10 October 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Y
Wise statesmen listen as much as they act. Moreover, they learn to listen before they act. This is a matter of accumulating politi... Read More
Friday, 10 October 2014 1:01 PM
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Sep
26

Georgia’s New Immigration Law: Many Losers and no Winners

This year, the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) admitted nine Armenian students and one from Azerbaijan. They came to Tbilisi for a preparation course in August and all of them applied for residency permits before the first of September. All applications were exactly identical. Out of ten students, seven got their permits, two were denied, and one is still in process. The reasons for rejection were stated in most general terms, relating to Article 18 of the new immigration law. That article reads:  “An alien may b...
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Guest — Ali
once the reputation of a country is damaged, it could not be corrected for many many years. I am seeing lots of my friends who had... Read More
Friday, 26 September 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Y
Who benefits? The bureaucrats with a newfound sense of "purpose" in their lives.
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Steven Hermans
Georgia was an easy place to stay. It now became like everywhere else: Europe, Central Asia, US,...
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:11 AM
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Sep
12

Trade with, or Build Walls Around, Frozen Conflict Areas? That is The Question!

With Russia creating or helping sustain so many “frozen conflicts” on its periphery, it is crucially important for countries and nations finding themselves in this predicament to work a sound strategy of dealing with the situation. The military option has been taken off the table ever since the August 2008 attempt by Georgia to forcefully bring South Ossetia back into its fold. Thus, countries such as Moldova, Georgia and now also Ukraine, don’t have too many good alternatives to choose from. One possibility is to isolate and punish in the hope of erodin...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Dear Salome, thanks for your comment - you are right, we have gone very far in isolationism and it would take years before we are ... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — sjapiashvili
I agree that Economic incentives might be very important for the dialogue to start, but "the isolation politics" has gone so far b... Read More
Monday, 15 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Y
While I understand the point of the article, one should perhaps consider more carefully the context of Mr. Lutsenko's words, befor... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:11 AM
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Jun
06

Georgia Caught Between the Russian Rock and the EU Hard Place

“I’m Georgian, and therefore I am European.” These were the words late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania chose to express Georgia’s EU aspirations when speaking in front of the Council of Europe in 1999. Reading very much like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”, Zhvania’s dramatic statement conveyed twin desires: i) to join the European family of nations and ii) to break out of Russia’s traditional sphere of influence, its political, economic, and cultural domination of Georgia since early 19th century. On June 27, the European Union plans to sign...
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Guest — NP
Interesting point of view. I agree especially on the message that the economic, social and geopolitical consequences of all choice... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2014 10:10 AM
Guest — Hvino. Georgian Wine (@Wine_of_Georgia)
Thank you for worthy analysis
Friday, 06 June 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Kara, thanks for your comments. You sound very critical, but I think that, in fact, we are in complete agreement as far as the mai... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2014 4:04 PM
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