ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
04

How the Age Structure Impairs “Inclusive Growth” in Rural Georgia

Currently, farming in Georgia is a “by default activity” – the vast majority of Georgian “farmers” are not really farmers in a professional sense but rather people who try to survive by growing agricultural products. When traveling through Georgia’s countryside, one sees immediately that it is mainly the older generation which has to resort to this default activity. Those who have more profitable opportunities leave for the cities, and these are almost exclusively young people. How much flexibility and motivation can we expect from those elderly who rema...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Another reason for apparent aversion to taking risks in rural Georgia is that, being middle aged or elderly, many farmers don't ha... Read More
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — William Berry
How can this be overcome? Or isn't that necessary? Mr. Bill....
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 5:05 AM
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Apr
06

Georgian Tangerines

The Estonian-Georgian film, Tangerines, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014. While the film was shot in Guria, the story takes place in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia during the war in the early 1990s. In the film, two of the main characters are peasants from Estonia who are living and working in Abkhazia, one as a tangerine grower and the other as a manufacturer of wooden crates for transporting tangerines to markets (much like the one in the photo above). Unlike their families and neighbors, these two men ...
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Guest — Eric Livny
There is an interesting analogy between Israel-Palestine and Georgia-Abkhazia economic relations. An Israeli company (Agrexco) is ... Read More
Monday, 06 April 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Rati
Dear Fady, thanks for your comment! Area of Georgia is a really limit of not only sub-tropical fruits, but also for many agricult... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Fady Asly
I doubt it a lot! Georgia is at the extreme limit of sub-tropical fruits production zone! The yields will always be inferior to pr... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 12:12 AM
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Mar
30

Does it Make Sense to Subsidize Smallholder Georgian Agriculture, and if so How?

While Georgia never faced anything like a wartime food crisis, the agricultural policies implemented by the Georgian Dream coalition government in 2013-2015 did not lack in ambition, seeking to make up for more than a decade of “active neglect” of Georgia’s smallholder agriculture by the Saakashvili administration. In this piece, we take a critical look at one of the first government initiatives, the Agricultural Card Program, introduced in February 2013.  According to the then Minister of Agriculture David Kirvalidze, the program aimed to “revive G...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for the question, Humph! We don't have any evidence and, in fact, are not claiming that "the growth in cultivated areas and... Read More
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 1:01 PM
Guest — Salome
Thank you for your question. Majority of respondents claimed increase in output and sown areas, but you would probably agree, that... Read More
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Humph Abbott
Hi Eric and team. What evidence do you have to justify the assumption implicit in your first and second charts and supporting text... Read More
Monday, 30 March 2015 7:07 PM
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Mar
26

What Happens When Institutions are Designed to Provide Bullet-proof Protection against Fraud?

DESIGNING LIBRARIES  “Shock and awe” is a US military term describing the use of overwhelming power to demoralize the enemy, as applied by the American military in Iraq. “Shock and awe” would also aptly describe my emotional state when I entered, at the age of 23, the magnificent reading room at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This was the moment when I – a former paratrooper and an officer with one of Israel’s security services – understood how badly I want to acquire an education. Not technical knowledge or skills, but an education.    ...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Co-op size of 3-5 members makes perfect sense for the current Georgian reality. People related by blood or marriage, who have long... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Nikita
Coop growth diagnosticsCan you answer the following questions?1. Why do Georgian farmers form coops? Do they want to grow their bu... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for asking these questions, Nikita... I like the approach of tacking the so-called binding constraint(s), which would of co... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 7:07 PM
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Mar
13

Save the Georgian Bazaar!

Open-air markets, so called bazaars, are considered by many Georgians to be relics of the past. Progressive people buy in supermarkets with all its amenities: clean areas, shiny floors, the temperature regulated at a convenient level, the products placed in order and often arranged tastefully. Only backward people buy in a bazaar if there is a supermarket available. This shift in shoppers’ preferences is illustrated by changes in the market structure. Five years ago the only big supermarket in Tbilisi was Goodwill, but the presence of supermarkets increa...
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Guest — Robert Morger
I agree totally. Also bazaar and street market make a city attraktive and unique, if I could not buy my greens, fruits and puri i... Read More
Friday, 13 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — megiddo02
Thank you, Adam. I am a pessimist by nature, and so I think that the two-track regulatory system could easily bring about all kind... Read More
Saturday, 14 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Adam
Bazaars and the smaller street-side marketplaces play a huge role in Georgia's economy (especially in the regions), so it's good t... Read More
Saturday, 14 March 2015 1:01 AM
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Mar
10

Khachapuri Index as a Predictor of Structural Changes in the Economy

  In February,  the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri fell to 3.29GEL, which is 3.4% lower month-on-month (compared to January 2015), and 4.8% lower year-on-year (compared to February 2014). The main ingredient of Khachapuri is Imeretian cheese, and, naturally, its price is the main driver of ISET’s Khachapuri Index. Over the years, we have been observing a sharp upward movement in the price of cheese from July till January, and an equally sharp downward movement from February till June.  These seasonal price dynami...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
The seasonality of Georgian dairy herd calving has not so much to do with artificial insemination. One can manipulate calving seas... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Simon, who am I to argue with a veterinary doctor :-) What I think we can learn from flatter cheese price dynamics is that somethi... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 6:06 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
I would love to say that these improvements are leading to a lower cheese price, but two month's data is perhaps just an anomaly. ... Read More
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 8:08 AM
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