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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
27

Georgia’s 2018 Presidential Election by Numbers

On 28 November, the Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) will hold the second round of the very last direct presidential election in Georgia before the constitutional pivot to indirect elections. This is the last stage of a political reform aiming at replacing the presidential political arrangement with the parliamentary system. The president’s powers in the new system will be extremely limited and largely symbolic.1 Nevertheless, political parties are considering the presidential elections of 2018 to be a rehearsal for the more influential parliam...
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Nov
20

Money Can’t Buy Happiness. Or Can It? A Case Study from Yerevan

I have been living away from Yerevan for four years. Over these years, every time I visited my city, I noticed more and more new (and fancy) cafes. Over time, I also noticed that café visits seemed to grow in numbers and I started wondering whether it was just my impression or the reality. I have been particularly puzzled by the paradoxical nature of the fact that people always complain about their wages and living standards, yet they do not mind spending money in cafés. Wouldn’t they be better off by saving money and use it to improve their long-term li...
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Guest — Hovakim
Good job Laura, thanks for an interesting study.
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 2:02 PM
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Nov
19

Solving Insolvency

It is that time of year again when our world starts revolving around the World Bank’s Doing Business publication. It is a time when we once more have the chance to brag about how easy it is to start a business in Georgia, about how small the tax burden on businesses is, and about how good we are at enforcing contracts. However, we are unlikely to draw attention to our rank in the Resolving Insolvency indicator, which places us in a bracket alongside countries not necessarily known for their pristine business-enabling environment. Fortunately for Georgia,...
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Oct
22

One Step Forward on a Long Journey

  “With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), humanity has entered a new phase. The 4IR has become the lived reality for millions of people around the world, and is creating new opportunities for business, government and individuals” – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. The 4IR, as envisioned by Professor Schwab, is about breakthroughs in the fields of artificial intelligence, genetics, computing, etc. that are changing the world in which we live at breathtaking speed. With this vision in mind, the World Economic F...
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Oct
22

No Country for Wheat Trucks?!

About two months ago, the Georgian government announced the introduction of restrictions on wheat imports and their transit by road transport. However, this idea was soon abandoned in the wake of a concerted backlash from a number of stakeholders (including small-scale wheat importers, truck drivers, and flour-milling plants that use road-imported wheat). The culmination of the subsequent protests saw one truck driver scale the roof of the building of Revenue Service’s customs clearance zone, pour gasoline and threaten to set himself on fire. In response...
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Oct
01

Georgia Becomes a Net Importer of Electricity Even During the Summer Period

  In August 2018, Georgian power plants generated 985 mln. KWh of electricity (a 5% decrease in total generation, compared to the previous year and a 22% decrease with respect to July 2018), while consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,049 mln. kWh (+1% compared to August 2017, and -4% with respect to July 2018). Consumption to exceed generation by 64 mln, which is 6% of total consumption and 7% of the amount generated. As it can be seen in Figure 1, the emergence of a generation-consumption gap was not totally unexpected. Not only it...
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