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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Oct
28

The Georgian Solution to the Tragedy of the Commons

In Georgia today and in Europe in the past, villages owned pastures where every shepherd and cattle-herder in the community could take his animals. Grazing on these pastures was free and unrestricted. This land, owned by all villagers jointly, is traditionally referred to as the “commons” (in the last years, the term has been extended to also refer to free-to-use internet content). The access to common land is unregulated, and consequently the villagers utilize on this resource as much as they can. Due to the heavy overuse, the common land in villages ha...
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Guest — Charmm
Brilliant! Very interesting article interlinking ancient Georgian mythology with the fundamental principles of economics. As famou... Read More
Monday, 28 October 2013 1:01 PM
Guest — Nikoloz
" these property rights were indeed assigned, but not to villagers, but to their gods."In Khevsureti, village Roshka there is a pa... Read More
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 3:03 PM
Guest — COMUS
Very interesting article, enjoyed reading a lot! "The habit of Skoptsy men to castrate themselves may have played a role in their... Read More
Thursday, 31 October 2013 5:05 PM
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Sep
27

“You Merchants Are Cowards”…

In the very first class on the Principles of Economics we teach our students how beneficial trade is. We explain that voluntary exchange (trade) increases overall welfare and is mutually beneficial. Economists tend to regard this basic “principle of economics” as an axiom, providing the basis for many other principles of economics and, most importantly, the notion (or fallacy) that “the markets know best”… Perhaps paradoxically, despite the many beneficial features of trade, merchants (i.e. professional traders), rarely enjoy social esteem. One reason fo...
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Sep
06

The Roots of the Georgian Mining Industry

In the early 1980’s, Soviet engineers drove a prospection tunnel into Sakdrissi hillock close to the small town of Kazreti, about 50 kilometers south of Tbilisi. Much to their surprise, they discovered that the hillock already bore a labyrinth of tunnels, and, as quickly became clear, these tunnels were manmade. An old gold mine had been discovered. 25 years later, a Georgian-German team of archaeologists excavated the site and reopened the ancient entrance to the mining complex. Inside the tunnels and around the entrance they found plenty of artefacts o...
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Guest — Tariel Zivzivadze
Many do not know this history. I would suggest making Georgian versions of these articles too and publicize more
Friday, 06 September 2013 3:03 PM
Guest — giorgi
What a barbarian decision! Thank you for bringing this up! I signed the petition, what else can be done to reverse it?
Friday, 06 September 2013 8:08 PM
Guest — nanachka
this is only one side of the story. i agree that it would be wonderful if this myth about ancient gold mines would turn out to be ... Read More
Saturday, 07 September 2013 9:09 PM
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Jul
12

American Dream vs. Georgian Dream

When I first started reading to my daughter I decided to buy a collection of Georgian fairy tales. However, as I started to read, I noticed that there were lots of things I did not agree with and found myself having to rephrase some of the passages as I read. I noticed that the poor are always portrayed as good characters and, no matter how they get rich (stealing from, deceiving or killing a “vicious rich giant”), social justice is assumed to have been met. I have always wondered what Natsarkekia, a lazy “ash digger”, who even after appropriating the gi...
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Guest — Rati
there's an interesting joke: what is the difference between American and Georgian dreams? American dream is "to become a millionai... Read More
Friday, 12 July 2013 7:07 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Addiction to gambling is another attribute of the Georgian dream
Friday, 12 July 2013 7:07 AM
Guest — ALEX
They are leaving the country because they realize that in georgia despite talent and hard work still there is low chance to succee... Read More
Saturday, 13 July 2013 7:07 PM
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Jul
05

David the Economist

In 1122, King David IV. reconquered Tbilisi from the Muslims. In those times, a bloodbath among the former oppressors would have been the logical consequence of such a victory. Leaders of the High Middle Ages took merciless revenge against their enemies once they had defeated them. Yet David did not! To the contrary, he did not only let the former rulers live, but David was even anxious that the Muslim population might leave Tbilisi after the fall of the city. In order to send a strong signal of appreciation and friendship to the Muslim population, he ex...
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Guest — zviad bakhurauli
thanks for this article. ) economy of small countris like georgia are very different to big ones and it needs an individual approa... Read More
Saturday, 06 July 2013 12:12 AM
Guest — Lasha
Many thanks to authors for this wonderful blog. Now I know King David the Economist. I wish Georgian policy makers read this and t... Read More
Saturday, 06 July 2013 12:12 AM
Guest — KingOfKolchis
This is a very nice piece and would be particularly useful to feed into popular economic policy debate. To this end, would be grea... Read More
Monday, 08 July 2013 2:02 AM
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Jun
10

An Economist’s Comment on “Dodge or Die” on the Streets of Tbilisi

[“Dodge or Die” is a series of reports on the relationship between the pedestrian and the motorist in Georgia by Robert Linkous]. As Stephen Dowling put it in his BBC News article a few years ago, “when it comes to crossing the road, there's no such thing as an international standard. Every country does it differently.” How people drive and cross the road, according to Dowling, is a matter of a country’s cultural values. Is it really? Bad traffic habits are a grave problem in many cities around the world. Yet, while many have managed to largely solve the...
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Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Nice post and a very pressing problem indeed. My views below are not meant in any way to be criticisms of this article but rather ... Read More
Monday, 10 June 2013 11:11 AM
Guest — Giorgi
Thing is that whoever enforces or should enforce these new rules is mostly a driver himself. So there is no utility gain for him i... Read More
Monday, 10 June 2013 6:06 PM
Guest — Giorgi
Another important point is that you can sell anti-bribery measures easily, but 90% of driver citizens of Georgia will never give u... Read More
Monday, 10 June 2013 6:06 PM
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