On Thursday March 21, ISET hosted the Governor of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), Mr. Koba Gvenetadze, who delivered a profoundly informative lecture to the ISET Community. Mr. Gvenetadze covered important aspects of long-term development challenges facing the Georgian economy based on the accumulated experience of past development in the country. The main topic of the seminar was a general overview of macroeconomic considerations in Georgia, future perspectives, and coordination between fiscal and monetary policies. The discussion about the recent hike in excise taxes, the “larization” program and de-dollarization measures, has now been enlivened inside the ISET community.

On March 7-8, ISET’s ENPARD team with an M&E coordinator from CARE, took a field trip to Adjara, hosted by UNDP Adjara, which is one of the implementer of the ENPARD project (agricultural cooperative development across Georgia). UNDP Adjara recently became involved in the Annual Cooperative Survey, which has been carried out from the beginning of the implementation of the ENPARD project by other ENPARD implementer consortia (Care, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and PIN). The objective of the visit was to explain the details of the questionnaire for the survey to the local team.

During these two days, ISET and local team members met representatives from cooperatives in the region. The sectors covered by these cooperatives are trout, berries, wine production, as well as vegetable production in greenhouses.

On Monday, March 6 ISET hosted its graduate Robizon Khubulashvili, a PhD Student of Pennsylvania State University. Robizon presented his working paper entitled “Endogenous Team Formation Among Competitors”.

In this paper, Robizon analyzed endogenous group formation when competition among teammates is a concern. He showed an algorithm that could be used to find an equilibrium in which all the members of the competitors' group want to be in the group and want to exchange their information with every other member of the group.

Robizon also had answers to some interesting questions from group theory and organizational economics. First, he characterized conditions under which team managers should improve weak players of the team; the interesting result was that even if one player is more important than another, there is a strong incentive to improve the less important player. He also showed that team with homogeneous members have higher expected value than an average ability team with more heterogeneous members. Finally, Robizon addressed matching problems, and discussed allocation of agents in pairs.

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