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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Quitting or Going Underground? How Georgians Responded to Increased Tobacco Regulations
here I explore topics connected to the local economic and health impacts of smoking, and the corresponding policy responses from the authorities.
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Tobacco Control in Georgia
Smoking and passive smoking are some of the main problems for public health in Georgia.
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How to Prevent the Tobacco Law from Going Up in Smokes?
On October 8, ISET hosted Andreja Marusic, the World Bank’s Global Lead for Business Environment. Ms. Marusic delivered a presentation “Doing Business and Beyond”. The presentation covered a general overview and current international practices in business environment reforms as well as the important systemic issues of moving from ad-hoc business environment reforms (such as the Doing Business indicators centric reforms) to a more sustainable approach, including a focus on predictability, transparency, public consultation and Regulatory Impact Assessment. In the begging of her presentation Andreja Marusic listed “traditional” business environment reform ideas and pointed out some new areas to focus on like: risk based regulations and implementation gap, sectorial and sub-national regulatory reforms etc. She also showed the main changes in Doing Business Report and explained that the new system compares countries to the best practice (New Zealand).
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Price and Prejudice on the Georgian Market for Cigarettes
Supported by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ISET’s collaboration with the Norwegian School of Economics (Norges Handelshøyskole – NHH) started more than four years ago with regular faculty visits by some of the most senior NHH scholars, professors Einar Hope and Rognvaldur Hannesson. The main goal of the new 3-year phase, to be financed by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (Senter for internasjonalisering av utdanning (SIU)), is to develop a dual degree programin energy and environmental economics. SIU funding will also provide ISET students and faculty with the opportunity to spend some time on the NHH campus in Bergen, participate in research seminars, and take advanced courses that are not available at ISET. Norwegian students will also visit ISET in order to learn from Georgia’s experience in eradicating corruption and promoting fast-track modernization. The first visit by a group of more than 30 Norwegian students is planned for early April 2016. The NHH delegation will be led by Prof.Tina Søreide, a leading scholar in the field of law and economics, and Prof. Sunniva Whittaker, Vice Rector at NHH.
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Smokers in Post-Soviet Countries: Ill-Informed or Just Irrational?
Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Georgia Koba Gvenetadze, Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia, Governor since 2016. He held position of Economic Adviser of “Galt & Taggart” (2015-2016). He worked at the International Monetary Fund, in Washington D.C. as Senior Economist of Middle East and Central Asia Department (2002-2015). He held positions of Deputy State Minister (2001-2002) and Deputy Finance Minister of Georgia (2000-2001). In different years he worked for the National Bank of Georgia as a Senior Economist, and for the Local Office of the International Monetary Fund as an Economist. Mr. Gvenetadze is a graduate of Tbilisi State University, Department of Finances and Credit. He also graduated from American University, Washington DC, USA in 2000 with a Master of Arts degree in Economics.
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