In a recent ISET Economist blog post, Luc Leruth explores the notion of a spatial fracture in Georgia. He wonders whether people will become accustomed to working remotely, with the COVID crisis having given them this fresh opportunity. If so, this could help decrease the strain on Tbilisi infrastructure by slowing down migration to the capital. Will COVID, unexpectedly, convince people to continue working remotely and settle outside Tbilisi in the countryside?
Until 2014, the population of Tbilisi remained more or less constant, even slightly decreasing at the same rate as the population of the country as a whole. Since 2014, though, there has been a marked migration to the capital as seen in the graph below.
The topic of circular labor migration has recently received increased attention within the objective of reducing unemployment in Georgia. Circular migration Schemes (CMS) are widely recognized policy tools for reducing illegal migration and facilitating the return of migrants to their countries of origin. The Georgian government’s increased interest and efforts to develop circular migration deals with EU member states serve, on the one hand, the long-term objective of addressing the high levels of unemployment, and, on the other hand, to reduce illegal, and stimulate legal, migration.
This research aims to explain how Georgia’s economic development in the past 12-15 years took place despite the absence of rural-urban migration, defying the predictions of the Lewis Model - one of the most influential theories in development economics.
Telavi, the former capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti, is a beautiful town with spectacular views of the Alazani Valley and Caucasian mountains. In the 18th century, King Erekle II reigned from Telavi. The palace can still be seen, and the statue of King Erekle stands proudly in the middle of the city's town square. More importantly for the city dwellers, Telavi is the capital of Georgia’s traditional winemaking.