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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
31

A Persistent Negative Generation-Consumption Gap, a Puzzle to Be Explored

Looking at consumption and generation trends, it is evident that since August 2018 consumption typically exceeded generation. The negative generation-consumption gap also remained throughout April, amounting to 45 mln. kWh, with a total power generation of 966 mln. kWh and a consumption of 1,012 mln. kWh. Yet why has the generation-consumption gap remained negative since August 2018? Should we also expect the negative gap to persist over the following months? Figure 1. Generation-Consumption Gap A negative generation-consumption gap in April is a relati...
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May
27

Short-Term Swings of the Georgian Lari: A Guessing Game with High Stakes

In the last two weeks lari depreciated, once again, against the US dollar. Georgian currency lost about eight tetri against its American counterpart, causing quite a stir in the media, among political groups and economic experts. While government authorities claimed that the recent developments are short-term fluctuations driven by negative expectations, Turkish lira depreciation, dollar’s global strengthening, and are therefore not connected to the fundamentals of the Georgian economy, the members of opposition were quick to blame incompetent fiscal and...
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May
20

Does Your Smartphone Make You an “Unconscious” Villain?

Our dependence on smartphones can hardly be described as anything other than addictive. We invariably use them to document trips and thus to have the world at our fingertips. Though, these precious little gadgets have a dark history that we, as consumers, unconsciously support. Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss in detail all the negative impacts within the supply chain of smartphones. Nonetheless, we wish this article to serve as an awakening, and a reminder, of what we as consumers are promoting. Moreover, what we - and governments - could d...
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May
17

Chess Is to Play and Math Is for Life

  At times math teachers use a legend, “mathematics in the game of chess”, as an introduction to Exponential Functions. The original myth tells of a mathematician in India who invented the game of chess and was subsequently bestowed a vast reward for its creation. The king of India was so impressed by the game that he offered the mathematician to “name your reward!” The inventor responded, “My wish is simple. Just give me one grain of rice upon each square of the chessboard, such that one grain is placed on the first square, two on the second, four ...
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May
03

What Can Be Learned from the Experiences of the Khadori 3 HPP Project?

News of the conflicts between the local population and the construction company involved in the construction of a small HPP in the Pankisi valley (Khadori 3) has recently made it into the headlines. Khadori is a small HPP with an installed capacity of 5.4 MW and an estimated annual generation of 27.5 mln. kWh. Construction of the Khadori 3 HPP started on 21 April, however, the local population resisted the project, and consequently its company involved law enforcement officials to ensure its secure implementation. This further increased tensions between ...
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Apr
26

Granted Survival!

Various business support programs have been implemented in many countries across the world. Grants, interest-rate subsidies, and equity participation are among some of the most adopted tools for promoting firms’ performances (Dupont and Martin, 2006). Such assistance programs also have their own objectives. For example, low-interest rate loans and cash transfers to new and small firms are designed to overcome the financial constraints many firms face (Hubbard, 1998). Moreover, these programs may aim to help firms adopt new technologies (Bronzini and Pise...
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