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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
06

Should the World Sacrifice the Economy to Save Lives Today?

No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever been at war wrote American political commentator and author Thomas L. Friedman in 1996. Since then, of course, there have been plenty of instances of countries with McDonald’s warring, including Russia and Georgia. Though, one should not take Friedman’s phrase too literally. Rather he implies that the spread of McDonald's is a part of a worldwide phenomenon of countries integrating with the global economy, which, in turn, makes wars less likely. Well, Kudos to globalization. But also, thanks to globa...
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Dec
18

The Role of Circular Labor Migration in Reducing Unemployment: How Ambitious Should it Be?

The topic of circular labor migration has recently received increased attention within the objective of reducing unemployment in Georgia. Circular migration Schemes (CMS) are widely recognized policy tools for reducing illegal migration and facilitating the return of emigrants to their countries of origin. The Georgian government’s increased interest and efforts to develop circular migration deals with EU member states serve, on the one hand, the long-term objective of addressing high level of unemployment, and, on the other hand, to reduce illegal, and ...
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Mar
15

Equal Rights Are Not Just for Women: Are We Ready for New Paternity Leave Policies in Georgia?

The following blog article was conceived of within the deliberations of a project, together with UNFPA, related to the cost assessment of potential changes to the leave policies of working parents. Admittedly, like the majority of the population, I had no idea that men in Georgia have the opportunity to take leave intended for childcare. It is a fact that since 2011 the number of fathers who have taken “childcare” leave can be counted on just two hands (including the ISET Alumnus, Giorgi Balakhashvili). As a future father this topic proves to be particul...
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Apr
16

The Knowing of Not Knowing in Water Management (and how to tackle the issue)

  The Georgian government is currently facing some tremendous challenges in adjusting to the EU Association Agreement (AA). A particularly problematic area of reform concerns the implementation of Directive 2000/60/EC, aka the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Properly managing water resources is an extremely difficult endeavor that requires a deep understanding of all the mechanisms at work. Failing to adequately manage water resources could have profound and long lasting negative consequences, both in terms of the development perspectives ...
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Mar
04

Georgia's New European Modus Operandi

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness … - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities A CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD? The above quote seems to fit the state of affairs in the European Union fairly well, as the EU’s crisis is continuing, getting deeper, and engulfing more actors than when it started. To name a few well-known events and stats: Greece probably had the first ...
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Recent Comments
Eric Livny
It is convenient to blame the EU for the current rise of nationalism in Europe and whatnot. Nationalism and religious fanaticism a... Read More
Monday, 06 March 2017 9:09 AM
Florian Biermann
Eric:There was always populism everywhere, even in ancient Rome (Cato said: Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam). What is new... Read More
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 10:10 AM
Eric Livny
Nothing will stop people from moving from (extremely) high pressure to (extremely) low pressure areas. Osmosis-style, through bord... Read More
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 11:11 AM
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Jun
25

High Wages not Walls

People who decide to leave their country and test their luck elsewhere are usually no random sample of a population. In his 1987 paper “Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants” (American Economic Review 77, pp. 531-553), Harvard Political Scientist George J. Borjas discusses the so-called self-selection of migrants. As of 1987, the standard view among migration economists was that migrants, at least those who came to the United States, belonged to the “upper tails” of the income distributions in their home countries. As income reflects economic per...
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Martin Smith
Quite interesting but do you mean two minimum wages? One already in place; a second (lower} one for migrants? With a special categ... Read More
Saturday, 25 June 2016 6:06 PM
Eric Livny
No, Martin, he proposes a single minimum wage for immigrants to be set ABOVE the average wage in a host society. In this way he ho... Read More
Sunday, 26 June 2016 3:03 AM
Eric Livny
An interesting proposal, but I am not sure it really solves the problem it purports to solve. First, one has to distinguish betwee... Read More
Sunday, 26 June 2016 4:04 AM
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