In the last two weeks, the lari depreciated, once again, against the US dollar. Georgian currency lost about eight tetri against its American counterpart, causing quite a stir in the media, among political groups and economic experts. While government authorities claimed that the recent developments are short-term fluctuations driven by negative expectations, Turkish lira depreciation, dollar’s global strengthening, and are therefore not connected to the fundamentals of the Georgian economy, the members of the opposition were quick to blame incompetent fiscal and monetary policy.
On January 29, ISET was pleased to host Prof. Michael Beenstock for a seminar workshop. Prof. Beenstock is the author of ten books on topics including time series and spatial econometrics, macroeconomics, the global economy, and economic development, as well as writing more than 100 refereed journal articles.
This article continues the theme of ISET Economist blog “Decriminalize Marijuana?” written by my colleague Saba Devdariani in June 2015, where he described the philosophical aspects related to marijuana state regulations and medical consequences of its consumption.
In January 2018, an IMF Working Paper published new results on the shadow economy situation for 158 countries from 1991 to 2015. According to Medina and Schneider (2018), the shadow economy in Georgia during that period constituted, on average, 64.9% of GDP – the highest indicator in the world! In 2015 (the last year available), things were slightly better for Georgia, with the share of the shadow economy standing at 53%.
The South Caucasus is divided by high mountain ranges, often impassable political borders, and ethnic conflict zones. In addition to three independent states, the region also includes three unrecognized territories. Nakhichevan is separated from Azerbaijan’s mainland by Armenia’s Syunik region. Armenia’s border with Turkey and Azerbaijan, on the other hand, is sealed for political reasons.