ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
27

Georgia’s 2018 Presidential Election by Numbers

On 28 November, the Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) will hold the second round of the very last direct presidential election in Georgia before the constitutional pivot to indirect elections. This is the last stage of a political reform aiming at replacing the presidential political arrangement with the parliamentary system. The president’s powers in the new system will be extremely limited and largely symbolic.1 Nevertheless, political parties are considering the presidential elections of 2018 to be a rehearsal for the more influential parliam...
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Nov
26

What Does Not Kill you… or the Story of Hazelnuts

On November 15, 2018, the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) presented the results of its “Study on Private Service Providers in the Organic Hazelnut Value Chain in Georgia” to stakeholders. The event was organized by HEKS-EPER South Caucasus, the ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI), and PAKKA AG, a Swiss holding. BACKGROUND Hazelnuts have historically been one of the main crops in terms of economic value for Georgia as the country is located in the Black Sea coastal area, which has suitable soil and climate conditions for the growth of hazelnuts. In...
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Nov
20

Money Can’t Buy Happiness. Or Can It? A Case Study from Yerevan

I have been living away from Yerevan for four years. Over these years, every time I visited my city, I noticed more and more new (and fancy) cafes. Over time, I also noticed that café visits seemed to grow in numbers and I started wondering whether it was just my impression or the reality. I have been particularly puzzled by the paradoxical nature of the fact that people always complain about their wages and living standards, yet they do not mind spending money in cafés. Wouldn’t they be better off by saving money and use it to improve their long-term li...
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Nov
19

Solving Insolvency

It is that time of year again when our world starts revolving around the World Bank’s Doing Business publication. It is a time when we once more have the chance to brag about how easy it is to start a business in Georgia, about how small the tax burden on businesses is, and about how good we are at enforcing contracts. However, we are unlikely to draw attention to our rank in the Resolving Insolvency indicator, which places us in a bracket alongside countries not necessarily known for their pristine business-enabling environment. Fortunately for Georgia,...
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Nov
05

Is Russia Back as the Main Foreign Provider of Electricity to the Georgian Market?

After a generation deficit of August, Georgia continues to exhibit a decreasing trend in power generation; compared to August, total electricity generation has decreased by 14% in September 2018. Georgian power plants generated 849 mln. kWh of electricity, while consumption of electricity on the local market was 955 mln. kWh. It should be noted that compared to August, electricity consumption has decreased by 9%.Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September, Georgia had to import electricity from foreign power markets. Ove...
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Oct
29

What If You and Your Neighbor Could Share a Micro Power Plant to Produce Your Own Electricity (and Help the Country in the Process)?

Have you ever thought how Tbilisi would look if the existing old Soviet Union era multi-story buildings were renovated and equipped with rooftop solar panels? There are several good reasons why this might be happening in the future, and why the government of Georgia might want to encourage this development. On average, over the last year 84% of Georgia’s electricity generation was provided by hydropower plants. However, hydro resources depend crucially on weather patterns. In our previous blog we documented how a change in weather patterns led to a recor...
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