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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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  • Laura Manukyan
  • Irakli Barbakadze
  • Lika Goderdzishvili
  • Selam Petersson
  • Sophiko Skhirtladze
  • Irakli Kochlamazashvili
  • Levan Pavlenishvili
  • Jemal Tsintsabadze
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  • Maka Chitanava
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Should the World Sacrifice the Economy to Save Lives Today?
On November 25, ISET started a policy seminar series provided by the second year students of ISET’s MA program. The first presentation was delivered by Tamar Bregvadze, Mariam Chachava, Kamran Gasimov and Yervand Martirosyan under the supervision of the head of Energy Concentration at ISET, Norberto Pignatti. The students gave a presentation entitled “Environmental Regulations – Air Pollution”, during which they overviewed different issues related to air pollution in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to the World Health Organization, more than 92% of the world’s population breathes air with lower quality and purity than the organization considers to be healthy. Furthermore, the problem is especially poignant for developing countries. Recent studies show that mortality due toair pollution in Georgia is approximately 5000 people a year; the same measurement stands at 3000 for Armenia and more than 5000 for Azerbaijan. This again highlights the importance of this topic for Caucasus region.
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The Generation-Consumption Gap Keeps Increasing. What Could or Should Be Done About It?
Teimuraz Gogsadze, a graduate of ISET's Class of 2011, joined the International Taxation Division of the Tax Policy Department at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia in May 2011. He worked on such interesting projects as the double taxation avoidance agreement and agreements on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters, gaining invaluable experience at the Ministry of Finance. Having spent almost a year at the Ministry and inspired by the experience regarding taxation matters, Teimuraz decided to continue his studies with a PhD program. In April 2012, he joined the PhD program in Economics at the University of Leicester, where his supervisors were Professors Sanjit Dhami and Ali al-Nowaihi.
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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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It’s Not Who You Trade With – It’s Who You Produce With: Measuring Georgia’s Integration into Global and Regional Value Chains
ISET-PI researchers Irakli Shalikashvili and Salome Deisadze attended the Data for Sustainable Growth in Kyiv between November 17-18. The conference was organized by KSE (Kyiv School of Economics), and was jointly sponsored by UKaid, USAID, the British Embassy in Kyiv, the Embassy of United States, and the Global Development Network. Ukraine’s revolution transformed the executive and legislative branches of the government in 2014. Since then, the government of Ukraine has prioritized increasing public sector transparency and accountability through eGovernance reforms, including eProcurement, Open Data, and eServices.
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Belarusian Path to Transition: Lessons for Georgia?
According to the Khachapuri Index, year-on-year we have observed a sharp increase (up by 9.1% compared to October 2015) in the price of butter. Typically, the price of butter should follow the price of milk, since the latter is the major ingredient of butter. Interestingly, however, the data collected for Khachapuri Index does not support this trend. Our data showed a 1.1% year-on-year decrease in price of milk. The explanation could be that most milk (and also milk products) that we are monitoring are made of milk powder.
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Agriculture in Georgia: Are There Any Real Changes in the Sector?
ISET Policy Institute together with Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Georgia offers free of charge training program "Leaders in Development". The program is designed for anybody who is involved in, or is affected by, public policy decisions: government analysts and decision-makers, parliament staffers, private sector executives, civil society activists, as well as development professionals working in international organizations. The ten modules of the program tackle some of the most important challenges of Georgia’s economic development, with a focus on how policy decisions (or indecision) directly and indirectly affect Georgian society, businesses and households. For example, we will discuss the implications of changes in tax administration and taxation (corporate, income, excise, VAT) on prices, investment, domestic production and consumption, human capital and labor supply.
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