ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
12

Trade with, or Build Walls Around, Frozen Conflict Areas? That is The Question!

With Russia creating or helping sustain so many “frozen conflicts” on its periphery, it is crucially important for countries and nations finding themselves in this predicament to work a sound strategy of dealing with the situation. The military option has been taken off the table ever since the August 2008 attempt by Georgia to forcefully bring South Ossetia back into its fold. Thus, countries such as Moldova, Georgia and now also Ukraine, don’t have too many good alternatives to choose from. One possibility is to isolate and punish in the hope of erodin...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Dear Salome, thanks for your comment - you are right, we have gone very far in isolationism and it would take years before we are ... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — sjapiashvili
I agree that Economic incentives might be very important for the dialogue to start, but "the isolation politics" has gone so far b... Read More
Monday, 15 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Y
While I understand the point of the article, one should perhaps consider more carefully the context of Mr. Lutsenko's words, befor... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:11 AM
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Sep
05

Kazbegi Rooms: with a View to Improvement of Regional Development Policies

When planning a debate about the impact of the new Rooms hotel on the local community in Kazbegi we expected it to be a mixed bag. A colleague who visited Kazbegi Rooms on a private reconnaissance mission told us how much he enjoyed his stay, but added: “for some reason, the relationship between the hotel and the villagers is best described as complex”. As economists, we assumed that Rooms would be a major employer of locals and so the only issue could be competition for tourists between the hotel and the local bed & breakfast providers. And as is of...
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Guest — AP
Great piece!
Friday, 05 September 2014 3:03 PM
Guest — Hans Gutbrod
great piece, Eric. Hopefully lessons will be learned...
Friday, 05 September 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — William Dunbar
Nice piece, but Kazbegi is on the Tergi (Terek), not the Aragvi
Friday, 05 September 2014 5:05 PM
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Jun
30

Georgian Nepotism

In Georgia, employment is often found not through prevailing in fair, orderly selection processes, but through personal connections. This is a well-known fact almost nobody denies. It is evident in almost every Georgian firm and institution. In a hospital you encounter a “nurse” not capable of the most basic medical accomplishments, in one of Tbilisi’s universities you meet a “cleaning woman” who is mentally ill, known for scaring everybody through aggressive and inappropriate behavior, and in the railway station you buy a ticket from a clerk who knows n...
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Guest — Eteri
Nepotism – one of the forms of corruption – is a use of public office for a private gain that is distributing favors to family mem... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Helene Ryding
It seems to me several issues are rolled into "nepotism" as described here, and they need to be unpacked. First of all, everyone ... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Roba’s general observation is spot on!!! Coffee makers and coffee drinkers of Georgia unite!!! I am truly puzzled by nepotism as a... Read More
Monday, 30 June 2014 6:06 PM
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Jun
20

Why Care About Informal Employment?

Before answering this question, let us define what economists usually mean with ” informal employment”. There is some confusion with this term, and sometimes it is improperly used as a synonym for tax evasion or illegality. ILO defines informal employment as: employment “consisting of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and incomes to the persons concerned. These units typically operate at a low level of organisation, with little or no division between labour and capital as factors of p...
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Jun
16

Georgia – A Country Between Poland and Korea

In the first part of this article (available also on the homepage of The Financial), I described some of the adverse incentives resulting from a social welfare system. Then I argued that according to Simon Kuznet’s famous paradigm, increasing inequality is hardly evitable when a country enters a growth trajectory (as Georgia did in 2003), and I reasoned that it is at least an ambivalent (not to say questionable) policy for Georgia, at its current state of development, to fight inequality by social welfare measures. In this vein, the articl...
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Jun
09

Redistribution Versus Growth: Georgia at the Crossroads

One day in my village, I saw our neighbors carrying TV sets, refrigerators, parabolic antennas, and washing machines out of their house. Soon I found out that they were hiding all that stuff from the Social Service Agency (SSA) that was about to check eligibility for social benefits. Later, when I spoke with some other villagers, it turned out that some families had even sold their cows to become eligible for social assistance. “Cows are costly and do not give income on a permanent basis”, they said. Others avoided work contracts because official em...
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Guest — Florian Biermann
Eric, two different economists wrote on the same subject. Of course, they must come to different conclusions -- otherwise, this wo... Read More
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:10 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Here is what we wrote about two years ago on exactly the same subject (http://www.iset.ge/blog/?p=1171):"there are case studies sh... Read More
Monday, 09 June 2014 9:09 AM
Guest — RT
it's probably -- just a bit -- misleading to call Kuznets "a Belorussian economist" :-)
Monday, 09 June 2014 11:11 AM
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