Economic Reasons for the Breakup of Georgia
09 May 2014

In the 15th century, the Kingdom of Georgia started a painful process of disintegration from which it did not recover until the modern era, and ultimately, Georgia’s breakup at the end of the medieval age accounts for the regrettable fact that the country could not maintain its status as an independent nation (Florian Biermann and I discussed the cataclysmic Treaty of Georgievsk in our article about King Erekle II).

The Mystery of the Russian Economy (Part 2)
05 May 2014

For a long time, Russia was seen as the land of opportunity for foreign investors. The allure of the country with a large population, vast natural resources, and more importantly, a large middle class willing to spend money, was irresistible. The burgeoning economy, however, held a few secrets which threatened to derail investors’ hopes.

The Mystery of the Russian Economy
28 April 2014

Until very recently Russia was considered by many foreign companies a somewhat difficult but promising country for investment, a “land of opportunity” that perhaps necessarily came with a hefty dose of a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside of an enigma”. The difficulty was stemming primarily from Russia’s heavy-handed bureaucracy. Stories of corrupt practices, politically motivated court decisions, and questionable tax authorities’ tactics abounded.

Lending by Georgian Banks Boosts Savings and Provides Shelter from Relatives in Need
21 February 2014

Georgian households, being as poor as they are, don't save enough for the rainy day. Do low savings imply that Georgians are impatient to consume and do not care about their future? Is it in our genes that we prefer today’s egg to tomorrow’s chicken? Maybe our history, the history of a small nation struggling for survival, taught us to live our lives one day at a time?

Looking Over the Border: Immigration to Azerbaijan
06 February 2014

For some years, Azerbaijan experiences an immigration wave. Chart 1 shows the net immigration (immigration minus emigration) to Azerbaijan during the last 22 years. As can be seen, every year since 2008 more people are immigrating to Azerbaijan than there are emigrating. In 2012, for instance, 2000 net migrants came to Azerbaijan.