ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Oct
19

ISET Consumer Confidence: Anticipation Beats Realization

The CCI, which is computed by ISET-PI on a monthly basis, monitors how Georgians feel about their personal financial situations and the economic well-being of the whole country. Roughly speaking, the index is computed as the difference between the frequencies of positive and negative answers to 12 questions covering the present and expected economic situations of the households surveyed, as well as general economic parameters of the country, such as inflation and unemployment. It ranges from −100, a result that would follow if all respondents answered al...
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Sep
06

Homo Economicus Sisyphus

In the last two decades, happiness has moved into the focus of economic inquiry. Frey and Stutzer (“What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research”, Journal of Economic Literature 20, 2002, pp. 402-435) argue convincingly that gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, inflation, and many other indicators of economic performance are primarily interesting because they are correlated with the well-being of people. Without the assumption that these parameters are proxies for happiness, there would be no reason to pursue economic policies that maximize i...
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Guest — MartinSmith
A beautiful piece of explanation. Since four years... is not said: for the last four years is how this clause should read. I wil... Read More
Thursday, 08 September 2016 1:01 AM
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May
30

Patience, Genatsvale!

“The one who is patient, wins.” Georgian proverb One of the first things tourists in Georgia notice is how crazy that drive from the airport to the city is. Jumping red lights, breaking rules to take over the jeep in front, the Georgian taxi driver risks his (and not only his!) life to deliver his passenger to the destination. As a distraction from the dangerous ride, the driver might offer the famous “dzhigit” (a brave equestrian) joke: a dzhigit passes on red light, but stops on green – in case another dzhigit is crossing the road. Dzhigit-style d...
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May
22

On Rational Procrastination

One of the most fundamental assumptions in mainstream economics is the rationality of humans. Yet, as argued by Timothy A. Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada, frequently observed procrastinating behavior, i.e. the “needless voluntary delay” (Pychyl), cannot be reconciled with the rational man paradigm.  Pychyl claims in his book The Procrastinator’s Digest that procrastinators violate a most fundamental axiom of rationality, namely the so-called transitivity of preferences. If a person prefers dogs to cats and cats to h...
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Pati Mamardashvili
Very interesting review and findings. I agree that procrastination might work well for individuals. She/he can put a lot of stress... Read More
Monday, 23 May 2016 10:10 AM
Maka Chitanava
I have a comment about time pressure and different gender performances. I think results are consistent from natural selection’s po... Read More
Monday, 23 May 2016 10:10 AM
Eric Livny
Maka, but the stress-resistant males who survived have both daughters and sons, dont they? How does that square with your theory?
Monday, 23 May 2016 1:01 PM
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May
15

The Paradox of Soviet Excellence

Here is a question that has bothered me for a while and I am surprised that nobody else seems to have asked it before: How comes Western countries had the better orchestras (collectives) and Soviet Union the better classical music soloists during the Cold War? Would one not expect the contrary? And, perhaps more importantly: can economists learn something relevant from this observation? MUSIC AND SPORTS There were great orchestras both in the East and in the West and one could argue endlessly who were the greatest soloists. However, Van Cliburn is still ...
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Guest — Gia Bib
Interesting viewpoint, however I would restrain from generalizations. In terms of orchestras, for instance it is a well known fact... Read More
Friday, 15 May 2015 12:12 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
I would agree with Gia that such a sweeping generalization may be difficult to defend. The individualistic West produced plenty of... Read More
Friday, 15 May 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — mfmsm
Yes, you highlight some of the very best parts of Communism. What was wrong was the unaccountability of the oligarchy, and the des... Read More
Friday, 15 May 2015 8:08 PM
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