ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jul
17

The Georgian COVID-19 Response: Was the Lockdown Worthwhile?

Since its start, the pandemic has spread to more than 180 countries, with governments around the world each reacting differently to the new global threat. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker gauges the strictness of countries’ responses using a stringency index, which compares governmental policies over several dimensions. It is important to note that a higher index score does not necessarily imply an effective response; alone it simply indicates that a government undertook stricter containment measures.1 Moreover, the stringency index tracks...
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Jun
30

Mortgage Subsidy – Encouraging Borrowing in the Midst of a Crisis

On 28 May, Georgia announced its fourth anti-crisis plan, in which the government will subsidize 4 per cent of the interest rate of mortgage loans for five years. The subsidy will be issued for loans not exceeding 200,000 GEL and will only apply to those taking mortgages for the purchase of residential apartments that are newly built or under construction, from 1 June 2020 to 1 January 2021. The state will also ensure the completion of ongoing construction. Moreover, the state will issue loan guarantees on mortgages to the amount of 20 per cent of their ...
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Jun
19

Seasonal Effects and COVID Lockdown Combined Close the Generation-Consumption Gap in April

THE GAP CLOSES In April 2020, total generation and consumption nearly balanced (944 mln kWh of generation and 941 mln kWh of consumption), with power generation exceeding consumption by only 3 mln. kWh (corresponding to 0.3% of total generation: Figure 1). This occurred due to the simultaneous decrease in total consumption (7%) and total generation (2%). Interestingly, over the same period, wind power generation increased by a remarkable 23% compared to April 2019. One year before, in April 2019, the difference between total generation and consumption ha...
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Jun
12

Playing Against the Odds: What’s at Stake for Georgia as It Bets on the Tourism Revival Strategy?

Georgia reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by immediately introducing aggressive measures. Closing international borders, declaring a state of emergency, shutting down public transportation, banning local travel and public gatherings, closing restaurants and shopping malls, and introducing a nighttime curfew—these are all instruments that were used by the country’s government and health authorities to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, the health system was not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. As of June 12th Georgia has had 837 confirmed corona...
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Recent Comments
Guest — PeterJ
Interesting article, but just as a side note, can you please indicate the source for this: Furthermore, tourists visiting Georgia ... Read More
Friday, 12 June 2020 1:01 PM
Giorgi Mzhavanadze
Dear Peter, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that (as I know) there is no official document which indicates that entry re... Read More
Monday, 15 June 2020 7:07 AM
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May
01

The Implications of COVID-19 on the Georgian Power Market

The consequences of COVID-19 on tourism and in the industrial and service sectors have been discussed broadly recently. However, little has been said about the current and future implications on the Georgian power sector. The worldwide pandemic has already had, and is still expected to have, quite significant implications on both the demand and supply sides of the electricity market. Although, at this stage, we cannot estimate the exact scale of the effects, it is possible to represent a general theoretical framework of the existing and potential impacts...
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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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