ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Apr
10

If You Could Choose Where to Be Born What Country Would You Pick?

Note: Countries in red and yellow are the ones where respondents of the survey would like to be born. The first 11 countries in ranking are in red, rest in yellow. Countries in light gray were not mentioned at all. The ISET team conducted an online survey that began with the following question: if you could choose where to be born, what country would you pick? We intentionally formulated the question in this way, which is very different from asking “where would you like to travel or to migrate?” This formulation was meant to allow us to look into charact...
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Apr
08

Bashar al-Assad’s Three Puzzles

In 2007, an American businessman and friend of the then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, was visiting Damascus before continuing his journey to Jerusalem. On the morning of his departure to Israel, the Mukhabarat, Syria’s secret service, knocked at his hotel room. The Syrian agents calmed down the scared businessman – he was not to be taken to some torture prison, of which there were many in Syria. Instead, they wanted to know what was Ehud Olmert’s favorite dish. Surprised about this question, the businessman answered “hummus”, and half an hour la...
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Apr
01

What Does It Take to Become a “Vakeli“?

Vake has always been one of the most prestigious districts in Tbilisi and being a “Vakeli” has been associated with high social status for no obvious reasons. In the picture: Vake Park, one of a few green places in Tbilisi and thus a big asset for the Vake district. Maybe having an opportunity to walk every day in this park makes people living in Vake so special. The recent publication of the Real Estate Laboratory (REM Lab), a joint project of ISET, TBC Bank and JumpStart, reports a remarkable growth in the real estate market in 2016. The growth was obs...
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Apr
01

"Georgian Railways" Reach a Critical Crossroads

  By Eric Livny, Georgia Today’s special correspondent in Tehran River Astarachay, which divides the Azerbaijani and Iranian nations, is no Rubicon, and its crossing over a newly constructed bridge by an Azərbaycan Dəmir Yolları’s GE/LKZ TE33A Evolution locomotive was hardly noticed by Georgian media. Yet, the project has immense implications for the future of transportation across the Caucasus.  President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Tehran on March 5, 2017 (his third visit to the Islamic Republic in just as many years) was timed to provide him and...
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Mar
27

In Georgia Education Matters (But Probably Will Not Make You Rich)

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school” – Albert Einstein It is widely recognized that education is the key to the future. In general, educated people have higher earnings and lower unemployment rates and highly-educated countries grow faster and innovate more than the other countries. Therefore, in the recent economic literature, education is considered as an investment good and look for the other investments, there is the costs and benefits of the investments in the education. The cost of the education is the ...
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Mar
25

Beyond Political Slogans: Better Analysis for Better Labor Market Policies

The labor market is always a hot topic in our country, and debate about it usually overheats as elections approach. Referring to unsatisfactory labor market indicators is always a good way to emphasize the mistakes and/or the inertia of the ruling parties. Another common way to score points is making pre-election promises of increased future employment. One way or another, parties always promise and voters always believe their promises (including unrealistic ones). The only thing which does not seem to be affected is labor market, possibly because behind...
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