ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Feb
08

To Prevent, to Repair, or to Start Over: Should Georgia Put ‘Maintenance’ Ahead of ‘Investment’ in Its Development Dictionary?

In a recent blog post, Y. Babych and L. Leruth raised several issues related to public infrastructure management in the city of Tbilisi. They observed that the consequences of poor past management practices were highly visible. But some of these consequences are also less visible or less immediate. Take schooling, for example. If the authorities fail to plan for the expected increase in the city’s population over the next few years and neglect to build an adequate number of kindergartens/pre-schools, the results will be overcrowded, fast decaying pre-sch...
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Feb
01

COVID-19 in Georgia's Agriculture: a challenge, an opportunity or both?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread economic distress in many countries around the world. For the first time since 2009, the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have declined in 2020. Alongside other sectors of the economy, such impacts are also being felt by the food and agricultural sector. The pandemic has affected food security and nutrition, supply chains, food and livestock production, and food safety. The pandemic consequently poses a serious threat to livelihoods in poor countries, those where agricultural production syste...
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Jan
11

May Certain Trends Brought By COVID-19 Be Worth Keeping Post-Pandemic?

The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on human lives and health globally. It has severely impacted the socio-economic state of millions of households, bringing immeasurable human tragedy, paralysis of social connectivity, economic crisis and, to a certain extent, culture shock. This shock is, in part, the result of the many new practices introduced as a means of dealing with this situation, utterly altering our day-to-day lives. Since we hope to see an improved state of affairs by the end of 2021 after months of cohabitation with the pandemic, it is no...
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Dec
28

Enguri HPP Is Closing While Demand on Abkhazia’s Side Keeps Growing: Challenges and Opportunities for The Georgia’s Electricity Sector at the Beginning Of 2021

According to the last four years’ data, Georgia has a chronic electricity deficit in ten months out of twelve, with the country showing an electricity surplus only in May and June (and, occasionally, in April and/or July). Despite the COVID-19 crisis dampening electricity demand in the country, 2020 was no exception. After two months - May and June - characterized by a positive generation-consumption gap, starting from July 2020 Georgia has been generating less electricity than required to cover consumption. To fill this deficit, Georgia imported energy ...
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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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Dec
14

COVID-19 and Food Safety in Georgia

“Food safety risks cannot be entirely eliminated but must be managed along the entire food chain, from farm to table. Reducing food safety risks requires collaboration across sectors, stakeholders and national borders” Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. It has been almost a year since the world started struggling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries follow the recommendations and precautions provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to prevent the spread of the virus. While various businesses, scho...
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