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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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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Feb
07

Is Climate Change Threatening Georgian Winter Tourism?

This year the winter season started later than usual in nearly all Georgian ski resorts (except Goderdzi) due to a lack of snow. Given the heated international discussions on climate change and global warming in recent years, the lack of snow in Georgian ski resorts has raised questions concerning the future economic viability of winter tourism in the country. This is hardly an unexpected development as even the World Tourism Organization recognizes that mountain tourism is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (UNWTO, 2015). Unforeseen ...
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Jan
29

Recent Monetary Policy Measures and Lending Regulations — the Effect on Georgian Lending Patterns

High and rising levels of foreign currency indebtedness have been an important topic in Georgia over the past several years. To address this issue and protect borrowers from currency risks, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), as well as the Georgian Government have implemented regulations to hinder excess indebtedness. Let’s have a look at the timeline (Figure 1) of recent lending regulations and the accompanying monetary policy measures and observe their impact on changing lending patterns in the Georgian economy. Figure 1. Timeline of lending regulatio...
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Jan
29

Earth Is not Cool, It Is Getting Hotter!!!

Did you know that: • the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years? • average wildlife populations have dropped by 60% in just over 40 years (60% between 1970 and 2014)? • every year, nearly 1 million hectares (larger than New York City) of coastal ecosystems are destroyed? • in the past 20 years, 4.2 billion people have been affected by weather-related disasters, including a significant loss of lives? These and other broader changes such as rising sea levels, accelerating ice melt, shifting seasons, etc.  occurring on earth are...
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Jan
29

Making a Break-Through in Gender Equality Will Not Be Easy – That’s Why Evidence-Based Approaches to Policy Should Be Taken Seriously

On November 15-16, 2019, FREE Network and ISET Policy Institute organized and conducted an international gender economics conference in Tbilisi, Georgia1. The conference brought together researchers, policy-makers, and the broader development community to discuss obstacles to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and policies to remove the existing constraints, focusing on Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies. The conference’s opening remarks were offered by two prominent keynote speakers: Dr. Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the W...
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Jan
10

The Paths Towards Inclusive Economic Growth in Georgia

INTRODUCTION1 The economic policies of successive Georgian governments have arguably lacked cohesive direction when it comes to inclusive growth. There still remains an open question of whether the overall goal has been to pull people from agriculture or to leave them where they are, while pushing productivity up via, for instance, funding the development of cooperatives or clusters. Concurrently, the state also has introduced industrial policies, like establishing SME support agencies that operate under the auspices of different ministries. Trying a lit...
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