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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus financed within the institutional grant by the Government of Sweden.
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  • Eka Nozadze
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  • Archil Chapichadze
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  • Florian Biermann
  • Irakli Shalikashvili
  • Olga Azhgibetseva
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  • Eric Livny
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  • Irakli Barbakadze
  • Lika Goderdzishvili
  • Selam Petersson
  • Sophiko Skhirtladze
  • Irakli Kochlamazashvili
  • Levan Pavlenishvili
  • Gocha Kardava
  • Rati Porchkhidze
  • Lasha Labadze
  • Muhammad Asali
  • Karine Torosyan
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  • Mariam Katsadze
  • Ana Burduli
  • Davit Keshelava
  • Giorgi Mzhavanadze
  • Elene Seturidze
  • Tamta Maridashvili
  • 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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Why Is Georgia Educating Future Unemployed?
Like most other former socialist countries, Georgia enjoys a very high literacy level, as measured e.g. by the share of people completing secondary education. And yet, the single most problematic factor for doing business in Georgia, at least since 2013, is the “inadequately educated workforce”. Not crime. Not corruption. Not access to finance. Not faulty infrastructure. Inadequately educated workforce.
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“Just a Bit High”?
Interest in bank profitability is increasing every year. Google search data for Georgia shows that in 2017, there were 4,700 pieces (articles, blogs, comments, and other documents) found for “Banks’ Profit” while the same indicator in 2016 amounted to merely 2,990 pieces. In 2015, it was even smaller – 2,160 pieces. This growing interest has its own objective reason, which is simple: In 2017, compared to the previous year, profits for commercial banks increased dramatically by 190 mln. GEL (if you like percentages, it is 28%), and amounted to 869 mln. GEL.
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The Tale of Two Cities: Are Almaty-Style “Bombilas” the Future of the Tbilisi Taxi Market?
Recently, the administration of Tbilisi City Hall announced that the Tbilisi taxi market is going to be regulated. The process of switching to a regulatory frame will be gradual. At first, taxi drivers will be obliged to acquire taxi signs and permission from the appropriate authorities. This regulation is not expected to create significant pressure on taxi service providers. At the second stage, however, taxi drivers will be required to pass a technical inspection and satisfy minimal quality standards.
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Fighting Drug Addiction: Can Georgia Do It Better? An Economist's View of Georgia’s Drug Policy Reform
Drug policy reform is now at the center of a heated debate in Georgia. Despite the importance of the subject, however, most of the discussions I have heard so far are based on phobias and myths, rather than on evidence. This is a pity, as a society will ultimately have to decide on the subject by voting YES or NO on this reform, thereby choosing between very different potential outcomes. Having an informed opinion on the issue is, therefore, extremely important.
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Is the Georgian Beef Market Becoming More Western?
When visiting Georgia, the son of a French farmer may feel like cows are invading the countryside. They seem to be everywhere, roaming in little herds, cows, heifers, and calves all together, searching for every blade of grass to be grazed under the guard of their herdsman. From this point of view and many others, including amazing landscapes, Saperavi wine, khinkali and mtsvadi, the Georgian countryside is very surprising and interesting!
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Is Less, More? On “Usakhelauri” Wine
This summer I bought a small piece of land (0.15ha) in the village of Okhureshi to grow a vineyard. About 700 “Usakhelauri” vine seedlings planted on that land in November this year will soon provide the most scarce and expensive grapes in Georgia. In just in a couple of years the vines will mature, and I will enjoy something as nice as the neighboring vineyard depicted in the photo.
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