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Seminars & Lectures

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Doing Makes The Difference
02
Oct

On October 2nd, ISET was visited by representatives of FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Bank, who came to talk about the Bank’s activities and its investments in Georgia. Mr. Jan-Willem Hoek, Investment Officer, and Ms. Naomi Campbell, Environmental & Social Officer, gave a presentation entitled ‘Doing Makes The Difference’, and explained the Bank’s commitment to global development and humanitarian outcomes. In Georgia, FMO has partnered with TBC Bank to finance young entrepreneurs running micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as retail customers requiring a mortgage. FMO’s own financing is split between the Netherlands’ major banks and the Dutch Government; along with its partners in TBC, the Bank cooperates closely with the Dutch Embassy in Georgia, and so Her Excellency Loes Lammerts, the Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Netherlands, also attended.

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Index of Economic Freedom
28
Jun

That Georgia is making strident progress on a variety of international indices is widely reported in the domestic press, but many Georgians may still view claims of their country ranking highly on global lists of safety and economic freedom with a degree of skepticism; after all, the average wage remains low, and there are few opportunities outside of the capital. It is, therefore, enlightening to hear exactly how Georgia is making progress first-hand from experts. On Friday June 28, representatives of the Heritage Foundation visited ISET to present the findings of the organization’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. The Heritage Foundation is an influential Washington-based think tank that came to prominence during the Reagan Administration of the 1980s, and remains one of the most influential research institutions in the United States. Along with its economic interests, the Foundation also reviews government policies and budgetary activities.

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The Effects of Georgia’s Universal Health Coverage Program on Newly Insured Households
24
Jun

Almost as soon as they are through the front doors, new arrivals to ISET are told that the institute is like a family, and it does not take long before the truth of these words is proved. ISET alumni frequently come back to visit, and not just to pay friendly visits to their old professors: many have gone on to work prestigious jobs in both the government and private sectors, or earn PhDs in American and European universities, and so return to ISET to present on topics that will be of interest to the community, both old and new. Yet this does not just apply to students – it is equally true for former faculty. Adam Pellillo, now of La Salle University in Philadelphia, worked at ISET for several years, and now happily returns to lecture as a visiting faculty member. On June 22, Adam came back to ISET to present his ongoing research project into health insurance coverage in Georgia.

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To stop, or not to Stop: Non-monetary Incentives
20
Jun

‘There are two types of people’ is the common opening for a number of jokes and idioms, but as research carried out by ISET alumnus Ala Avoyan (now of the University of Indiana) shows, there is some truth to this old adage. Two different types of character were revealed over the course of study, which investigated ‘history dependent stopping’ factors in scenarios without any financial components. Using hundreds of chess games, Ala discovered that repeated losses or victories are indicators of whether a participant will continue to play; enjoyment from the next game, therefore, is derived from the result of the match preceding it. The incentive to stop or not is the variable which differentiates the two types.

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Technological Transformation and the Future of Work
12
Jun

On June 12, ISET hosted Kinan Bahnassi of the International Labor Organization, one of several UN-affiliated bodies active in Georgia. Mr. Bahnassi treated the audience of students, staff and faculty to an interesting, perceptive and rather creative presentation. Mr. Bahnassi began by explaining that although the ILO presence in Georgia is comparatively small compared to other organizations, it has had a significant impact in the country. He drew particular attention to the lack of a national labor code, and the fact that many people working in the country (particularly those in manual jobs) face hazardous conditions. This issue is particularly poignant for Georgians, since loss of life in the building industry and mining is – while not common – still too much of a regular occurrence. However, thanks to the ILO’s efforts, health and safety standards on construction sites will be introduced later this year, with appropriate attire and helmets becoming mandatory.

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Is overworking bad for your health?
30
May

The debate over working hours has become a frequent topic of discussion in recent years, especially as increasing numbers of modern industries (especially workplaces such as technology startups) find the traditional nine-to-five standard incompatible or irrelevant. Research and experiments – most notably those conducted in Scandinavia – have also contributed to the discussion, especially with regards to the idea that overworking can be unhealthy or dangerous. However, the experiments and research have universally been concentrated on the developed world, with the circumstances of many countries remaining unexamined. To this end, Maksym Obrizan of the Kyiv School of Economics has been examining the issue in a wider context on his own.

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