Economic reforms announced in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in October 2016 raised concerns about whether Georgia was departing from its path of prudent fiscal policy. A reform of the corporate profit tax and increased infrastructure investment were driving expectations of a 6% of GDP budget deficit in 2017, endangering Georgia’s macroeconomic stability and its reputation with investors.
Cutting taxes and achieving higher economic growth, as a result, is every politician’s dream. The 2016 parliamentary elections of Georgia showed just how important and controversial the question of taxation can become.
In the year of elections, any piece of economic analysis is usually seasoned with a hefty dose of caution. Every analyst is aware of the fact that the incumbents will be too eager to oversell the ‘good’, while the opposition will pound on the ‘bad’. Weary of taking sides in political battles, economists usually switch on their primary defense mechanism: they start relying (heavily) on the annoying “on the one hand”, “on the other hand” kinds of phrases. I am of course referring to Georgia in the year 2016.
On Monday, May 18th, ISET hosted Mr. Jan Klingelhöfer from RWTH Aachen University who presented his paper titled “The Swing Voters' Blessing" to the ISET community. The paper deals with the following question: can democracy work well if the electorate is neither fully informed nor fully rational?
On February 16th, ISET hosted David Bostashvili PhD. from the University of Houston. Dr. Bostashvili presented his job market paper: “Political Budget cycles and Civil Service in American State Governments”. The motivation for this paper was an observation that all levels of government tend to spend budgets right before elections.