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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
11

Sweet Little Lies – Things That Make Us “Happy”

  On May 17, 2017, the Georgian government adopted amendments to the Tobacco Control Law with 85 votes in favor, and only one against. This highly debated new regulation, which bans smoking in public places, was initiated by Parliament member Ms. Guguli Maghradze who just recently discussed the obesity problem in Georgia, which is caused partly by excess sugar consumption. Georgian public which is familiar with statements turning into law considered Ms. Maghradze’s statement as a prelude to enacting a sugar tax in Georgia. During the informal interv...
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Jun
04

When Football Meets Finance, Education Scores

World Cup 2018 is getting close and football can already be felt in the air. The squads are almost finalized, new jersies are already on sale, and fan clubs are preparing venues to watch football. These are all traditional preparation for the World  Cup, but interestingly for me, and possibly for you as well, football has also affected education, specifically financial education. If you are intersted in how football and financial education are linked, Financial Football is the answer. To give you some background information before you test the game ...
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May
21

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education: Should You Take a Dance and/or a Computer Programming Class?

That there is a persistent demand for adult education should come as no surprise. Most people would agree that learning is a lifelong process. A distinction, however, should be made between the notion of learning understood as a process of self-discovery over one’s lifetime, and learning understood in terms of the acquisition of a certain set of skills, often for the purpose of advancing one’s position in the labor market. The two notions, although distinct, are related. It can be argued, for example, that the more skills we have, the more we can engage ...
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May
14

Air Quality in Georgia. How Are We Doing?

If you are a governmental stakeholder, civil society organization, research institute or a concerned citizen pondering the state of the environment, the biennial Environmental Performance Index (EPI) tells an inconvenient truth regarding the trajectory of each country and their performance. The rankings provide unpolished results concerning countries and their commitments, or lack thereof, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other complementary international agreements. The EPI list should provide signposts for policymakers to fathom what act...
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May
12

Is Abkhazia Consuming Too Much? – March 2018 Electricity Market Review

In March 2018, Georgian power plants generated 997 mln. KWh of electricity (+35% compared to March 2017, and + 7% compared to February 2018). Nearly a quarter (24 %) of this electricity was produced by the Enguri and Vardnili hydropower plants, which produced 188 mln. kWh and 49 mln. kWh, respectively. Consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,116 mln. kWh (+9% compared to March 2017, and +5% compared to February 2018). Around 19% of this electricity was consumed by Abkhazia (207 mln. kWh). The Enguri and Vardnili HPPs represent nearly the onl...
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May
07

Georgia’s Economy Grows, Agriculture Shrinks: What Should We Do?

Since 2012, when the political party Georgian Dream took leadership of the country’s governance, economic [real] growth reached its highest rate in 2017 (5.0%). The drivers of this growth were construction (11.2%), hotels and restaurants (11.2%) and the financial sector (9.2%). However, a few sectors of the economy declined in 2017, and one was agriculture (-2.7%). Experts on this sector agree that 2017 was a “bad year” for Georgia’s agriculture. Winter lasted longer and spring frost damaged fruit plantations. This was followed by some periods of drought...
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