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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Author
  • Guenther Baechler
  • Veriko Shengelia
  • Giorgi Bakradze
  • Khatia Tsaava
  • Goga Sukhashvili
  • Irakli Jgharkava
  • Shota Katamadze
  • Mariam Gogotchuri
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  • Mery Julakidze
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  • Nino Abashidze
  • Aleqsandre Bluashvili
  • Rezo Geradze
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  • Aram Derdzyan
  • Astghik Mkhitaryan
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  • George Basheli
  • Ia Vardishvili
  • Robizon Khubulashvili
  • Tom Coupe
  • Adam Pellillo
  • Lasha Arevadze
  • Saba Devdariani
  • Nino Mosiashvili
  • Nikoloz Pkhakadze
  • Jan Klingelhofer
  • Martin Smith
  • Medea Davlasheridze
  • Tamari Giorgadze
  • Aram Grigoryan
  • Charles Johnson
  • Levan Bzhalava
  • Maya Grigolia
  • Izat Berenaliev
  • Lasha Lanchava
  • Nino Zambakhidze
  • Nino Doghonadze
  • Simon Appleby
  • Rafael Castro
  • Givi Kupatadze
  • Ruediger Heining
  • Mariam Zaldastanishvili
  • Zurab Abramishvili
  • Salome Goglichidze
  • Gigla Mikautadze
  • Hans Gutbrod
  • Kalman Mizsei
  • Ivane Pirveli
  • Irakli Galdava
  • Victor Kipiani
  • Florian Biermann
  • Irakli Shalikashvili
  • Olga Azhgibetseva
  • Phatima Mamardashvili
  • Eric Livny
  • Aleksandra Markovic
  • David Zhorzholiani
  • Nino Kakulia
  • Matsatso Tepnadze
  • Laura Manukyan
  • Irakli Barbakadze
  • Lika Goderdzishvili
  • Selam Petersson
  • Sophiko Skhirtladze
  • Irakli Kochlamazashvili
  • Levan Pavlenishvili
  • Jemal Tsintsabadze
  • Nika Molashvili
  • Gocha Kardava
  • Rati Porchkhidze
  • Mariam Galdava
  • Lasha Labadze
  • Guranda Darchidze
  • Muhammad Asali
  • Karine Torosyan
  • Levan Tevdoradze
  • Mariam Katsadze
  • Ana Burduli
  • Davit Keshelava
  • Elene Seturidze
  • Mariam Tsulukidze
  • Erekle Shubitidze
  • Guram Lobzhanidze
  • Mariam Lobjanidze
  • Mariam Chachava
  • Maka Chitanava
  • Salome Deisadze
  • Ia Katsia
  • Salome Gelashvili
  • Tamar Sulukhia
  • Norberto Pignatti
  • Giorgi Papava
  • Luc Leruth
  • Yaroslava Babych
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Five Ways Covid-19 Affected the Georgian Labor Market in 2020
The World Health Organization’s declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020 can be considered a watershed in the recent history of mankind. The pandemic and its concomitant changes, such as switching to remote activities, affected different aspects of one’s life, including individuals’ participation in and behavior on the labor market.
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Right or Left: What Are Political Parties’ Economic Visions?
Davit Keshelava of MPRC commented on the wealth report of Credit Suisse with the Business Contract programme of Maestro TV. The report noted that the UK’s household wealth has been reduced by $1.5tn post Brexit. In addition, the number of people in the UK who have $1m or more has reduced by around 15%.Davit pointed out that such a significant reduction of household wealth can be considered as the cost of Brexit. Since the results of the referendum were publicly known, the British pound depreciated by 16% relative to the US dollar and 10% relative to the euro. He added that the detailed institutional and legislative aspects of Brexit are not known to society, yet this creates further uncertainty for economic agents and do not allow markets to increase accordingly. In addition, he overviewed new opportunities for Georgia to benefit from this fact (especially tourism potential). Watch the video from Maestro TV to learn more.
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The Georgian COVID-19 Response: Was the Lockdown Worthwhile?
In the first two weeks of December, Georgian retail prices increased. ISET’s Retail Food Price index gained 1.2% m/m (compared to mid-November). Nonetheless, compared to December 2015, the holidays will cost less than n 2016, as we recorded a significant 13% decrease in food prices. IN THE SPOTLIGHT Most noteworthy bi-weekly price increases were observed for the following food items: eggplant (14%), beef (8%), and rice (8%). While the weaker Georgian lari was supposed to boost the prices of imported commodities (the Georgian lari has lost value during the last couple of weeks), surprisingly, prices dropped the most for imported apples (18%), imported tomatoes (13%), and cucumber (8%).
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Regional Impacts of COVID-19 Shock to HORECA Sector
On November 21, Prof. Dr. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel gave a presentation of a working paper entitled “Trade Costs for Heterogeneous Agricultural Products” at ISET. The professor himself and Mr. Yi Qu are the co-others of the paper, which aims to evaluate trade costs for 125 different agricultural products based on 1992-2011 data from 156 different countries. Geographic characteristics (island or mainland, number of neighboring countries, etc.), transportation (the distance products cover domestically or internationally), tariffs (on exports and imports), institutions and the history of the country, as well as demographic characteristics (the religion of the majority of the population in a particular trading partner, common language, etc.) serve a role of explanatory variables in the analyses.
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Recent Monetary Policy Measures and Lending Regulations — the Effect on Georgian Lending Patterns
Georgia’s wine industry is heavily dependent on export to CIS countries and especially Russia. Two main short-run risks associated with the Russian market prevail for Georgian wine exports at present: 1. Russia might cancel its free trade agreement with Georgia. This would reduce the demand for Georgian wine in Russia by 18%, or USD 20 m based on 2014 exports. 2. The economic slowdown in Russia could lead to reduced demand for wine. We estimate that this could reduce demand for Georgian wine by 5%, and at most 10%, or USD 5.5 to 11 m. These short run risks are substantial but manageable. Reduced demand due to the economic slowdown combined with a cancellation of free trade with Russia would reduce total Georgian wine exports by USD 28.5 m or 17%, but still leave them much higher than their average level in recent years.
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The Role of Circular Labor Migration in Reducing Unemployment: How Ambitious Should it Be?
The purpose of this report is to take stock of the existing regionally disaggregated data and to identify disparities between the regions of Georgia. Few similar studies exist, with the major exceptions being the Diagnostic Report by the Task Force for Regional Development in Georgia (2009) and the Georgia Urbanization Review by the World Bank (2013). This report thus fills a gap, attempting to inform both future research and the formulation of regional policy. The analysis in this report is mainly building on Geostat statistics, in particular the Integrated Household Survey, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Survey, and the Village Infrastructure Census. While in principle this allows for a detailed analysis of regional disparities, this is limited by issues with the data. Two issues are of importance. First, with the last census dating back to 2002, the reliability and quality of the current survey data is potentially compromised. Second, large and systematic data gaps exist for infrastructure, environmental issues, and cultural and recreational resources. It should also be noted that most surveys for any observation only indicate the region, but not the municipality. Thus any analysis is restricted to be along existing regional boundaries.
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