ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
21

Improving the Mix and Match in the Labor Market: Can Education Management Information Systems help?

Education in Georgia is essentially the responsibility of the public sector (the vast majority of total enrolment in the case of General education) and has received a lot of attention in recent years with public outlays to the sector tripling between 2010 and 2019 to reach 3.6 percent of GDP. This remains low by OECD standards, however: OECD countries spend on average a little under 5% of their GDP on education.1 This may partly explain why PISA scores have remained low in Georgia. Out of 78 countries, Georgia ranks 67th, 71st and 74th in the three PISA ...
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Nov
02

The Inflation Targeting Framework of the National Bank of Georgia: Is It the Right Model?

As the Georgian Lari (GEL) briefly depreciated in September 2020, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) once again became the subject of criticism for not being able to stabilize the exchange rate even though it had injected 120 million US$ in the economy. At a press conference (2020/09/16), the President of the NBG objected that the aim of the injection of US$ was not to strengthen the GEL since the NBG operated under a floating exchange rate policy. Rather, he went on to explain, the NBG’s constitutional duty was to ensure price stability on the basis of ...
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Oct
26

Right or Left: What Are Political Parties’ Economic Visions?

Last week Georgians took part in largely proportional parliamentary elections. Dozens of parties were registered as election contestants. To what extent do their visions coincide with yours in different important areas of public policy? You can get a detailed answer to these questions on the digital platform "Election Compass Georgia". According to a recent public opinion poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), for 72 percent of the population, one of the two most important components of a political party's election program is the...
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Oct
19

Sorry, You're Fired Due to COVID! Has COVID-19 Widened Gender Gap?

When the Georgian unemployment statistics for Quarter 2 (April, May, June) of 2020 came out, no one was surprised to see that the national unemployment rate, which had been falling steadily over the previous quarters, and even years, suddenly increased by 0.9 percentage points relative to the same quarter of 2019 (more precisely from 11.4% in Q2 2019 to 12.3% in Q2 2020). Perhaps we were more surprised by the fact that the unemployment rate did not go up more drastically in the midst of a strict lockdown, various travel restrictions, and quarantine measu...
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Oct
05

COVID-19 Strikes Again: How the Pandemic is Affecting Georgia’s Energy Security

  Many of us well-remember the cold winter of 2006 when the Russian Federation cut its natural gas supply to Georgia. In general, it is clear that diversification in energy import markets reduces the risk of socio-economic shocks following political tensions with other countries. Fortunately, Georgia managed to find an alternative to the Russian supply and started importing gas from Azerbaijan. This blog will review the current gas import situation and discuss the expected trends in natural gas supply security. As Yergin (2006) notes, the primary fa...
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Jul
17

The Georgian COVID-19 Response: Was the Lockdown Worthwhile?

Since its start, the pandemic has spread to more than 180 countries, with governments around the world each reacting differently to the new global threat. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker gauges the strictness of countries’ responses using a stringency index, which compares governmental policies over several dimensions. It is important to note that a higher index score does not necessarily imply an effective response; alone it simply indicates that a government undertook stricter containment measures.1 Moreover, the stringency index tracks...
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