July 18 saw one of the most important events of the year for ISET be held at the Republic Event Hall, as the ReforMeter project – which has evaluated all government reforms over the last two years – was presented and discussed in-depth by the core team and a panel of experts.

The opening remarks were made by Nato Beruashvili of USAID (one of the principle financial backers of ReforMeter), and Jean-Frederic Paulsen, Chairman of ISET’s Governing Board as well as the institute’s former interim director, who has helped oversee the implementation of the project since its inception in 2017 as a key part of its Steering Committee.

These were followed by a presentation from Gigla Mikautadze, ReforMeter’s Project Manager, who explained in detail every stage of the project, which was split into three distinct phases. Phase III concluded in June of this year, marking an overall upward trend in the progress of all government-implemented reforms. The results of each reform were independently evaluated by both the government and stakeholders.

On March 26, ISET hosted Dr. Lotta Björklund Larsen of Stockholm University, Sweden, who presented a paper entitled ‘Tax Compliance. A Review of Recent Studies’.

“How are people made to pay tax, at the right time and the right amount?” Dr. Björklund Larsen began. “How are they made to comply? This is an eternal research question for tax collectors, law and policy makers, politicians, as well tax scholars. It is also a question that cannot be answered from the perspective of one scientific angle. In this presentation I reviewed research about tax compliance drawing on recent studies from economics, political science and anthropology. I argued that in order to understand why we pay tax—that is, why we comply with taxes and taxation—as well as why we avoid doing so, we have to look beyond legal changes, psychological experiments, economic results, the organization of revenue collection and all actors’ practices in society’s tax arena and study the type of relations, and expectations, that taxpaying is seen to create in society.

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