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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jan
29

Fighting Drug Addiction: Can Georgia Do It Better? An Economist's View of Georgia’s Drug Policy Reform

Drug policy reform is now at the center of a heated debate in Georgia. Despite the importance of the subject, however, most of the discussions I have heard so far are based on phobias and myths, rather than on evidence. This is a pity, as society will ultimately have to decide on the subject by voting YES or NO on this reform, thereby choosing between very different potential outcomes. Having an informed opinion on the issue is, therefore, extremely important. Let’s start from the beginning - what are Georgia’s major drug-related problems? 1. Georgia ran...
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Jan
22

Is the Georgian Beef Market Becoming More Western?

*  This article below summarizes the observations and recommendations of the Georgian Ministry of "Meet the Meat Demand" study  funded by the French Ministry of finance, implemented by France Génétique Elevage and executed by the International Technical Cooperation Bureau of the French livestock organizations (BCTI). When visiting Georgia, the son of a French farmer may feel like cows are invading the countryside. They seem to be everywhere, roaming in little herds, cows, heifers and calves all together, searching for every blade of grass ...
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Guest — Yulia
Hi! I have found your article very useful and I am very curious and would like to read the above-mentioned study of Meet the Meat ... Read More
Thursday, 08 February 2018 11:11 AM
Guest — Irakli
Dear Yulia, thanks for your comment and interest. We will ask the owners of that study if it is possible to share with you.
Friday, 09 February 2018 7:07 AM
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Dec
25

Is Less, More? On “Usakhelauri” Wine

  This summer I bought a small piece of land (0.15ha) in the village of Okhureshi to grow a vineyard. About 700 “Usakhelauri” vine seedlings planted on that land in November this year will soon provide the most scarce and expensive grapes in Georgia. In just in a couple of years the vines will mature, and I will enjoy something as nice as the neighboring vineyard depicted in the photo. NO NAME… Usakhelauri is an ancient red-wine grape variety unique to Georgia. The grapes are cultivated in just a couple of villages in the Lechkhumi region (West Geor...
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Florian Biermann
Lets hope that somebody is willing to pay such extraordinarily high prices for the wine you grow!
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 3:03 PM
Guest — giaruouballantines
All my life I’ve avoided Europe and it’s multitudes of terribleness, but it turns out, much to my surprise there is actually one p... Read More
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 5:05 AM
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Dec
23

Who Gets to Eat from the Growing Pie?

  2017 is shaping up as one of the best years in Georgia’s post-2008 crisis history. The economy is expected to expand by about 5%, beating early expectations and official forecasts by the likes of the IMF and the World Bank. Based on updated GeoStat figures for Q1 and Q2, ISET-PI’s annual growth forecast currently stands at 4.9%. Even that figure is likely to be revised upwards if Q3 growth turns out to be higher than suggested by GeoStat’s preliminary estimate of 4.4%. Georgia is not alone in experiencing a boom. In fact, it is rising with a tide ...
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Florian Biermann
Why is the vocational education reform discussed in the context of redistribution? And even a pension reform is not inherently con... Read More
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 5:05 PM
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Dec
11

Do You Have Questions About the Upcoming Pension Reform? Here Are Some Answers

Over the past months, we have been asked several times questions about the upcoming pension reform. Here are some answers. For whom is the contribution to the fund mandatory? Who can join/contribute to the fund? All those individuals who receive their salary net of taxes because their employer pays the income tax for them are automatically enrolled in the fund. Those who are 40 or more years of age will have – after 3 months in the fund – the possibility to opt out. However, this “window” to opt out will close after the 5th month in the fund. Those who a...
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Dec
09

Why Is Georgia Importing So Much Electricity?

In October 2017, Georgian power plants generated 828 mln. KWh of electricity, marginally up (+0.79%) compared to September. Following the traditional seasonal pattern, the share of electricity produced by renewable sources declined to 71% of total generation (87% in September), while thermal power generation’s share increased, accounting for 29% of total generation (compared to 13% in September). When we compare last October’s total generation with the total generation of October 2016, however, we observe an 8.7% decrease in total generation (in October ...
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Eric Livny
Georgia should be happy to be part of a regional electricity network and not a Robinson Crusoe economy. This allows for mutually ... Read More
Monday, 11 December 2017 12:12 PM
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