ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
01

"Georgian Railways" Reach a Critical Crossroads

  By Eric Livny, Georgia Today’s special correspondent in Tehran River Astarachay, which divides the Azerbaijani and Iranian nations, is no Rubicon, and its crossing over a newly constructed bridge by an Azərbaycan Dəmir Yolları’s GE/LKZ TE33A Evolution locomotive was hardly noticed by Georgian media. Yet, the project has immense implications for the future of transportation across the Caucasus.  President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Tehran on March 5, 2017 (his third visit to the Islamic Republic in just as many years) was timed to provide him and...
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Mar
27

In Georgia Education Matters (But Probably Will Not Make You Rich)

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school” – Albert Einstein It is widely recognized that education is the key to the future. In general, educated people have higher earnings and lower unemployment rates and highly-educated countries grow faster and innovate more than the other countries. Therefore, in the recent economic literature, education is considered as an investment good and look for the other investments, there is the costs and benefits of the investments in the education. The cost of the education is the ...
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Mar
13

How to Prevent the Tobacco Law from Going Up in Smokes?

BACKGROUND After a hike in excise tax on cigarettes in January 2017, Parliament of Georgia is going to introduce legislative changes to the existing tobacco control law (TCL) in March. Since its enactment in 2003, TCL has been modified several times. However, the recently proposed changes can be considered the most radical step towards a tobacco-free society in Georgia. New draft law comprehensively covers production, packaging, marketing, advertising, selling and consumption of tobacco, and other activities of tobacco businesses. The main changes can be...
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Mar
06

Economic Freedom (Act): Do We Need It or Not?

The so-called “Economic Freedom Act” (EFA), which has been a matter of public discussion in recent weeks, refers to two pieces of legislation: (i) a Constitutional amendment from 2010, which requires a referendum for introducing new taxes or increasing the tax rate, and (ii) the Law on Economic Freedom (2011), in force since 2013, setting a number of additional restrictions to government fiscal policy (Table 1). Table 1. Law on Economic Freedom in Short Number of Tax...
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Feb
20

Price and Prejudice on the Georgian Market for Cigarettes

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Yet we have a tax that could prevent hundreds of millions of premature deaths. It is time to use it more effectively. -Prabhat Jha It is a truth universally acknowledged, that cigarettes are bad for human health. Yet, whenever the government tries to regulate consumption of cigarettes by increasing their price, it gets a very mixed reaction from the public. Some people (mostly non-smokers) welcome these policies, while others accuse the government of ...
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