ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jul
25

From “failed state” to role model – what Greece can learn from Georgia

In the 1990's, my brother traveled in Georgia with a friend. They were cruising around with an old van, looking for archaeological sites and other cultural heritage. Every 10 kilometers they were stopped by police who politely asked for baksheesh. My brother’s friend hated corruption, and, more significantly, had severe difficulties controlling his temper. After this pathetic annoyance was constantly going on for days, he became angry and shouted at the policemen: “Your country is the most rotten place on earth. I will never come back to Georgia and I wi...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — nikos avgeris
The issue of corruption is indeed a very important one and at the centre of the debate lately. However i find myself rather disagr... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 1:01 PM
Guest — Florian
I am not a greek-hater. I were in Greece probably around 20 times ... I know Rhodes like my home town, I was hiking two weeks in I... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric
I very much like the post, even though the comparison to Greece is not terribly scientific. Something tells me that if Florian's b... Read More
Thursday, 26 July 2012 3:03 PM
Continue reading
2260
12 Comments
Write a Comment
Jun
26

Georgian decency as a competitive advantage I: The facts

Members of the same nation have the same “cultural background”, which means that they share a good deal of political and social values and ideals, and they tend to believe in the same recipes to solve their problems. Such fundamental attitudes are often shaped by the historical experiences of a nation. For example, England had a kind of merchant democracy since the 14th century, when the House of Commons was founded. In the former Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, merchants had no institutionalized possibility to influence politics. Bribery and utilizin...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Excellent post Florian! You are right in thinking about culture and its possible link to economic variables. I too admire the tra... Read More
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric
A great post, Florian! Every time I take a taxi in Tbilisi I run the experiment that you describe: I stop a cab and get in without... Read More
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Florian
We do not know what was the taxi drivers' conducts in Georgia 10 years ago. It could be that it was worse than today, but perhaps ... Read More
Thursday, 28 June 2012 6:06 AM
Continue reading
2490
13 Comments
Write a Comment
Jan
26

The Safety Thinking Paradox

Please have a look at the above photo of the beautiful Kura River with the Sameba Cathedral in the background. Now, contemplate the picture for another 10 seconds and ask whether something suspicious is part of the scenario. Have you recognized it? Right, there are no rescue ladders at the waterside edges. If someone falls into the water, there is no way to get out again. The picture shows just a cutout of the view, but when standing on Saarbrucken Bridge, looking down at the river, you will see no possibilities to get out of the water anywhere! About 30...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Yasya
I agree that safety thinking is correlated with the level of wealth. This may be because the respect for public safety standards i... Read More
Thursday, 26 January 2012 9:09 PM
Guest — Giorgi Kelbakiani
A very interesting article, makes you to think on quite a lot of things... I think spending on safety is somewhat similar to the s... Read More
Friday, 02 March 2012 2:02 PM
Continue reading
2354
2 Comments
Write a Comment
Jan
17

Save Gudiashvili Square

One thing few visitors to Tbilisi fail to notice is the rich and layered architectural heritage of the city. There are medieval churches in Old Tbilisi. There are art noveau buildings in Sololaki. There is Stalinist architecture in Vake. And there are modernist experiments such as the Wedding Palace or the former Transportation Ministry Building. But at the same time this rich architectural heritage is threatened – either left to decay or destroyed or overwhelmed by new building developments. One worrying development is the proposed reconstruction of Gud...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Eric
The lack of a proper urban zoning policy in Tbilisi is a crime against the Georgian people, including many generations to come. Th... Read More
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:12 AM
Continue reading
2214
1 Comment
Write a Comment
Dec
19

Small Country, Big Ambitions

From the new issue of Investor, on Georgian film productions:  "It is not easy to cover the expenses of the film with the small number of screens that are in Georgia. The market is limited and the number of screens is also limited," he said. "If you want to make a Georgian film commercially successful, you have to expand this market, you have to go outside...either to Russia or international." There was certainly no shortage of talented Georgians who made it in the Soviet Union, or later in Russia. While we can safely assume that today there are sti...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — moonshine
Georgia has a better chance to succeed in exporting its movies (and arts and crafts, more generally) than in manufacturing. The ch... Read More
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 8:08 PM
Guest — Leqso
We can talk about additional positive side effects of well-developed movie industry for the Georgian Economy. Movie is the best wa... Read More
Thursday, 22 December 2011 1:01 AM
Continue reading
2189
2 Comments
Write a Comment
Dec
02

O Thou happy Georgia!

Recently, I attended a show by the famous Erisioni dancing group, which was performing in Georgia for the first time after two years of constant traveling abroad. The Georgian dancers in traditional costumes were sensational, but as an economist, a minor incident caught my attention nearly as much as the Erisioni ensemble. At the entrance, I was given a pamphlet which featured, on the back page, one of the most remarkable advertisements I had ever seen. A company called Magticom announced to be the first Georgian firm to have paid taxes to the ...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Florian
It wouldn't make sense to advertise something which is totally expected by everybody. For example, even in a corrupt country a com... Read More
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 5:05 PM
Guest — RT
Is this -- In Georgia ... economic entities are competing to win popular favor by paying money to the state -- really true and is ... Read More
Friday, 02 December 2011 10:10 PM
Guest — Florian
I definitely agree with that comment. The less (felt) corruption there is in a country, particularly in the public sector, the mor... Read More
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 5:05 PM
Continue reading
2002
17 Comments
Write a Comment

Our Partners