ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
30

Does Georgia Need More and Larger Cities?

We may recall that the Lazika city project has been proposed by the Saakashvili administration to accelerate the process of urbanization. A new city was suggested as a means of absorbing surplus rural population and thus paving the way for land consolidation and greater productivity in agriculture. No country, it was claimed, was able to modernize itself while maintaining almost 50% in rural employment. Yet, if we look at the global statistics, Georgia is reasonably urbanized. With 53.2% of urban dwellers, Georgia is ranked 107 in the world, slightly beh...
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Guest — Zak
As you are stressing the importance of the smaller cities it would have been more informative if you presented your Zipf plot on l... Read More
Friday, 30 November 2012 4:04 PM
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Nov
23

Math Education – an Engine of Economic Growth in the 21st Century

  MATH EDUCATION AND GROWTH: RECENT EVIDENCE Mathematical literacy has always been a key factor in improving a country’s productivity and competitiveness. Stanford University’s Eric Hanushek has shown that there is a positive relationship between students’ performance in mathematics tests and economic growth. This is not at all surprising. Proficiency in math implies a high-level of cognitive skills among the labour force, in other words a high quality of human capital, which leads to technological innovation and productivity gains. Another more re...
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Guest — Archil
Givi, Good review! I do agree with you that we need to prioritize mathematics; There is a myth in the west that Georgians are good... Read More
Friday, 23 November 2012 8:08 PM
Guest — Maka
Nice post and interesting relationship. I hope new government will joint PISA again and we will be able to monitor changes in Geor... Read More
Friday, 23 November 2012 8:08 PM
Guest — Eric
This result is likely driven by the rapid advancement of South Korea, China and other Asian nations who populate the upper right c... Read More
Monday, 26 November 2012 1:01 PM
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Sep
29

Aviation and Agriculture

  The YFN Georgia blog offers an interesting angle to the opening of the new Kutaisi airport: A major hindrance to the development of high-value horticulture exports from western Georgia is the limited availabity of air freight capacity from Batumi Airport. Most flights from Batumi are oriented towards Ukraine; only one service to the Persian Gulf is available, to Kuwait City. Hopefully Kutaisi will offer airfreight routes to Dubai and Qatar, which will provide new markets for high value cut flowers, citrus and fresh herbs. Check out the othe...
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Guest — Eric
Thanks for posting. A very interesting angle. Relevant for the "hub economy" discussion
Sunday, 30 September 2012 11:11 AM
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Aug
30

Where is the age of discovery?

The scars of the 2008 global financial crisis, and the festering wounds of the ongoing European debt crisis seem to have obscured one simple textbook truth: long-term economic development largely depends on the growth of the total factor productivity (TFP), sometimes referred to simply as the technological progress. TFP, however, is an elusive phenomenon. This is usually the unexplained part of the output growth, the “residual” left over after we have accounted for all other known contributing factors.  Another uncomfortable truth is that technologi...
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Guest — Yasya
Eric, I completely agree, not all countries should send rovers to Mars! However, both basic (fundamental) research and the applie... Read More
Thursday, 30 August 2012 11:11 PM
Guest — Eric
Thanks for a great post, Yasya! Just curious: how do US and Germany compare on the TFP component of their growth since 1970? As fa... Read More
Thursday, 30 August 2012 3:03 PM
Guest — Eric
According the NBER paper you referenced, the US is really exceptional in that a very large portion of its growth (coded as "TFP") ... Read More
Friday, 31 August 2012 12:12 PM
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Aug
28

Georgia‘s Partnership Fund

With the recent changes in the Georgian government the Partnership Fund has received renewed attention. The fund is now head by two political heavy weights, the former Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri, and the former Minister of Finance, Dima Gvindadze. As the Messenger reports: The foundation aims to facilitate cooperation between the public and private sector, creating investment projects, jobs, attract foreign investment and generally contribute to the development of the country’s economy. The four priority sectors include energy, agriculture, industry an...
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Jul
30

The Case Of Tbilisi Hippodrome – Urban Planning Mistake Or A New Approach To Regional Policy?

Despite arduous government efforts to reduce regional disparities, population and wealth are very unevenly distributed across Georgia’s territory. The largest city, Tbilisi, is pulling scarce human and financial resources away from other major cities, which in turn compete with smaller towns and villages in their immediate locale. Tbilisi’s population is already more than five times larger than that of Kutaisi, the second largest Georgian city (200,000 people). And while no precise data is available the gap is likely to be growing further. In principle, ...
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Guest — Eric
David, you are absolutely right as far as my assessment of the decision to destroy the hippodrome is concerned. I am not aware of ... Read More
Monday, 30 July 2012 6:06 PM
Guest — Eric
@Timur - Jane Jacobs??? Her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities promoted a grassroots, organic, neighborhood-based pr... Read More
Monday, 30 July 2012 8:08 PM
Guest — Timur
Building this road is also consistent with building a light rail line running on Chavchavadze Avenue. Some rerouting of road traff... Read More
Monday, 30 July 2012 7:07 PM
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