ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
09

On Democratization and Growth - Once Again

A long season of high–stakes elections in Georgia, Ukraine, and now the United States is finally over. Once the last campaign posters are taken down, we may as well start asking: now what? Whether we like to admit it or not, the success of democracy is probably ill measured by the show of competitive campaigns or the transparency of the voting system. Instead, the success largely depends on how informed and engaged in the political process the general public remains after the elections. This is something Ukraine has discovered the hard way sinc...
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Guest — Zak
Interesting. The right panel of the is indeed intriguing. I had a quick glance at the paper and I was wondering how much is the au... Read More
Friday, 09 November 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Yasya
Zak, I think the time dependence problem is mitigated a bit by the fact that he is using relative growth rates (single-year growth... Read More
Friday, 09 November 2012 10:10 PM
Guest — Michael
He controls for the Zeitgeist (his term), so this at first sight not an issue.
Saturday, 10 November 2012 5:05 PM
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Nov
02

Georgian TV Media Polarization – Are We Happy With That?

I am not addicted to TV but I found myself sitting in front of the TV almost 24 hours a day before the 2012 Georgian parliamentary elections. I considered myself a rational consumer of information, so it was surprising that was unable to resist the temptation to watch a channel presenting quite slanted opinions. My previously apolitical friends were experiencing the same phenomena. This post is reflection of this. How is it that rational consumers of information like me could come to be consciously watching politically slanted news? How and why was the G...
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Guest — T.M.
I think you missed the point of this blog post. It's not just media influencing society, but also media reflecting the polarizatio... Read More
Friday, 02 November 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Bully
Media has a great influence on modern society, especially in georgia, where Rustavi 2, Imedi, Real TV expresses the views of the ... Read More
Friday, 02 November 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Irakli
Before the mid of September Polarization Index for Georgian Dream (GD) was always higher than for UNM. Mainly because many negativ... Read More
Friday, 02 November 2012 9:09 PM
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Oct
18

Political Instability in Fragile Democracies

Free Policy Briefs has an insightful post on political instability in Kyrgyzstan. The literature, typically using panel data covering many countries, shows that higher government turnover rates reduces growth significantly in both economic and statistical terms, even for established democracies. Looking at government turnover in more polarized societies and unconstitutional change in power (revolutions and coups), the effect is estimated to be even larger. Is this relevant for Georgia? Only the future will show.
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Guest — Eric
This reference to the "literature" (Tolstoy?) does not make any sense. The link cannot be linear. Too little government turnover c... Read More
Friday, 19 October 2012 12:12 AM
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Oct
08

Democracy and Economic Growth

Few elections in recent years were watched as carefully around the world as the Georgian parliamentary elections. And few political and economic observers shunned the opportunity to interpret its stunning outcome. The majority view, so it seems, is that Georgia passed a “litmus test for democratic governance” (Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation). A few others, however, consider the victory of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coalition as the end of the “Georgian experiment” which, according to them, was about combining radical economic reforms and universal suf...
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Guest — Eric
Thanks for your comment, Yasya! Hasset's analysis is certainly vulnerable to criticism. The sample of countries, their grouping in... Read More
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:10 AM
Guest — Yasya
Eric, I wonder about the sample of countries and the timeframe Hassett is using. These types of analyses are particularly sensitiv... Read More
Monday, 08 October 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Giorgi
Well, we all know that benevolent central planner is better than market-based system )
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 11:11 AM
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Jun
19

Why Elections Happen in the Fall?

In May 2012, the ISET Policy Institute piloted a new monthly survey to measure consumer sentiment and expectations. The first pilot included about 60 randomly selected individuals who were asked about their well-being, saving and spending plans, etc. While based on a relatively small sample, the pilot points to a very large gap in consumer confidence among Tbilisi and the rest of the Georgia. Tbilisi households perceive themselves to be marginally better of at present, yet they report a much larger drop in wellbeing during the last 12 months and are less...
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Guest — Sanjit Dhami
This is a very good analysis and shows the power of simple, clear thinking that is not influenced by a prior theoretical baggage. ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:11 AM
Guest — Vusal Mammadrzayev
This is very interesting argument and it has very strong intuition. Dear professor Sanjit, I am interested in what is possible exp... Read More
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric
Vusal, you ask some very good questions. The results of the survey are coming from a very small sample, thus I would not want to r... Read More
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 7:07 PM
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May
01

From the Comments, on Tractors and Agriculture

A recent blogpost on tractor service stations generated an interesting discussion in the comment section. Well worth a read, in particular this insightful comment by Ulrich Koester: It is a very interesting discussion. Possibly I can contribute somewhat as I am a grown up farm boy, a ‘skilled agricultural worker with exam’ and an agricultural economist and a general economist. To clarify the issue it might be helpful to look at the experience of other countries, such as Germany. We have small farms in some regions which could be much better of eithe...
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