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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
22

COVID and the City – A Spatial Fracture in Georgia?

THE CONTEXT The COVID pandemic raises a vast number of questions for economists, though researchers have mostly focused on advanced economies and on the economic ‘scarring’ that the virus has inflicted. Not all, however, as a few economists have been interested in the likely evolution of cities after the pandemic. They observe that some cities, in particular travel hubs, have been epidemic hotspots, while many others, usually smaller, have been reasonably spared. More rural areas have also been less affected, although with strong variation across regions...
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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
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
16

Tbilisi: a Growing City with Growing Needs

  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. A similar trend is observed all over the world.  On average, a little over half of the global population currently lives in cities and, according to a recent report by the UN, that figure is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050.1 Georgia is almost there: taken together, the country’s 7 l...
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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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