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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
27

Regional Impacts of COVID-19 Shock to HORECA Sector

The outbreak of the virus and the corresponding containment measures have started to severely affect the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in its Interim Economic Outlook Report (2020) on March 2nd downgraded 2020 real GDP growth projections for almost every country. The largest reduction in growth projections is seen for China (-0.8 percentage points) with worldwide real GDP growth rate expected to decline from 2.9% (November 2019 forecast) to 2.4%. In their report on March 6th, Asian Development Bank (AD...
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Feb
10

Tusheti Community Network Drives Development into the High Mountainous Regions of Georgia

  Back in 2005, as there was no mobile coverage, my uncle drove dozens of kilometers to the Jvarboseli village in Tusheti to inform me that I had enrolled in university. Now, in 2020, there is still no mobile signal in most Tusheti villages, including Jvarboseli, however people can use broadband internet to reach out the world! Previously known only for its sheep farming and tasty Guda cheese, today Tusheti is also a famous touristic destination; while being home to one of the largest protected areas in Europe, covering three types of IUCN protected...
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Dec
18

The Role of Circular Labor Migration in Reducing Unemployment: How Ambitious Should it Be?

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 emigrants 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 high level of unemployment, and, on the other hand, to reduce illegal, and ...
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Dec
06

The Georgian Tax Lottery Experiment after Seven Years

More than three decades ago economists famously concluded that tax compliance is rather irrational behavior. Literature, across a wide range of disciplines, has since been overflowing with analysis as to why we see so much tax compliance in the modern world. The academic literature is concerned with why people pay so much tax or why so many people pay taxes, therefore policy-makers can gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms, which thus allows them to design appropriate policy actions to boost revenue efforts. Income generated from tax collect...
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Dec
03

Inclusive and Sustainable Development of The Mountainous Regions: Myth or Reality?

  Mountains cover 54% of Georgia’s territory. People living in those areas represent the most vulnerable group of Georgian society. Land erosion and climate change are prevalent in the mountains; unsustainable use of natural resources (forests in particular) and limited access to infrastructure pose significant risks to the lives of people there. In order to ensure the inclusive and sustainable development of the mountainous regions, the Georgian Government adopted the Law on the Development of Mountainous Regions in 2015. A bit later, in 2018, the ...
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Oct
11

The Warning Bells are Ringing: A Difficult Summer Season for the Georgian Electricity Market

Historically, the main concern in monitoring the Georgian electricity market derives from the negative generation-consumption gap arising in the winter season. However, persistent electricity deficits over ten months between August 2018 and August 2019 suggest that the number of months characterized by a negative generation-consumption gap might be on the rise. Looking at Figure 1 below, generation can only clearly be seen to exceed consumption twice during the past 12 months, in May and June. This year has been the first time that Georgia has faced an e...
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