ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
23

Regional Integration or Transit Corridor?

This research paper by Tony Venables has some interesting implications for the South Caucasus:  Better integration with a resource-rich economy is extremely valuable for the resource-poor. Remote and land-locked developing countries have very limited export potential with the external world … Regional integration enables them to earn foreign exchange via their exports to the resource-rich partner. The benefits arise as the prices of these regionally traded goods are bid up, raising wages and creating a terms of trade gain for the resource poor ...
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Guest — Eric
Georgia has doubled its exports to Azerbaijan in the first quarter of 2012 to $121mln. Azerbaijan is now Georgia's #1 export desti... Read More
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 4:04 PM
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Apr
26

Two Cities

The New York Times ran an article about Lazika, the planned city near Zugdidi, on the Black Sea coast. It’s not the only attempt to build a new city from the scratch in the South Caucasus, as Azerbaijan has similar plans. While these plans sound like pipe dreams of overambitious and overconfident politicans and planners a few positive things can be said about Lazika. Maybe, after all it is not such a crazy idea. In particular, this quote in the New York Times caught my attention (and I have to admit, it speaks for Mr Vashadze to be open to new ideas...
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Guest — Eric
As someone living in Tbilisi and enjoying its being a "livable" city, I would vote for Lazika. Let it be! Tbilisi is already too ... Read More
Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Salome
I dont agree, you can not ask foreign investors, hey, invest into renovation of our cities. As a contrast, by presenting realistic... Read More
Thursday, 26 April 2012 3:03 PM
Guest — Hans
I agree with Eric -- in principle, if Lazika is well thought-out, everyone would benefit. The countryside remains overpopulated, w... Read More
Thursday, 26 April 2012 8:08 PM
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Apr
24

The "Over-Education" Trap

In recent years, many countries in Europe and the former Soviet Union have seen an explosion in university enrollment. During approximately 10 years (from 1999 until 2010) higher education enrollment increased by 64% in Central and Eastern Europe, 27% in Central Asia and South Caucasus, and 19% in Western Europe and North America (see UNESCO).     1999-2005 2005-2010 1999-2010 Low enrollment  level in 1999  (below 30$) Country ...
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Guest — RT
Very true. One should add high unemployment. With no job, youth would either head to streets or to colleges. So those with ambitio... Read More
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 6:06 PM
Guest — Salome
Yes, at some point I agree with you and dear RT. We have too look from another direction. High unemployment and economic crisis c... Read More
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric
Randy, you are of course right, these data are not 100%, and maybe even not 90% correct. In fact, the strongest distorting factor ... Read More
Friday, 27 April 2012 4:04 PM
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Apr
22

Sex Ratio at Birth: is the South Caucasus Heading the Way of China?

This year, approximately 113 baby boys are born in China for every 100 baby girls; 112 boys per 100 girls in India, 111 in Vietnam. The looming social crisis stemming from the significant gender imbalance in the countries of East and Southeast Asia has been in the media spotlight for a long time. Unfortunately, the problem of gender imbalance is not confined to Asia. According to the UN database, between 2005 and 2010, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia held second, third and fourth place in the world after China in gender imbalance statistics. The ratio o...
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Guest — Maka
Thank you Yasya. This problem should be raised by different parts of the society. Your article as an economist’s view and suggeste... Read More
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 4:04 PM
Guest — Yasya
Interesting theory! I have heard of the "returning soldier effect", although cannot say much about the exact biological causes.I a... Read More
Thursday, 01 December 2011 12:12 AM
Guest — Yasya
I just checked the UN database again - based on five year averages there was absolutely no change in the sex ratio at birth for an... Read More
Thursday, 01 December 2011 12:12 AM
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Feb
10

The World's Tallest Skyscraper

From Eurasianet: The Azerbaijani developer Avesta plans to stick the 1,110-meter-high (about 3,642- feet-high) building on a chain of artificial islands off Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea shore. Completion date: by 2019. The tower -- named, not surprisingly, "Tower of Azerbaijan" -- is expected to house hotels and business centers. While it is unclear whether this project will ever be realized, it certainly shows that Azerbaijan has huge ambitions. Comparisons to Dubai come to mind, as a city with attention-grabbing architectural projects. More importantly, Du...
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Guest — Eric
Azerbaijan's production of carbon fuels is very close to reaching its peak (if it hasn't already reached the peak). The recent dis... Read More
Saturday, 11 February 2012 12:12 PM
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Dec
09

Twenty Years of Transition (From Nowhere to No Place?)

Twenty years ago, on 26 December 1991, USSR broke into 15 pieces, 15 independent states. Amid great hopes, each of these states embarked on a path of transition: from socialism, from one-party state system, from the relative security of a small city apartment, a dacha, and a Lada to… an uncertain future. For the small Baltic pieces of the USSR puzzle, this road led to EU membership and all of the associated goodies. For many others, however, this may have been a “transition from nowhere to no place” (see the eponymous 2004 bestseller by my number one con...
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Guest — Eric
A very good point, Zak! The version of HH-PMI that I calculated for this post reflects one thing: political pluralism within a par... Read More
Friday, 09 December 2011 11:11 PM
Guest — Zak
Eric, a nice and valuable effort. But consider this: when Herfindahl index is used by economists (even though not many of the talk... Read More
Friday, 09 December 2011 5:05 PM
Guest — RT
There is also a lot of criticism of those type of indices, so what exactly would lack of correlation be indicative of? What is bet... Read More
Friday, 09 December 2011 9:09 PM
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