ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
14

Labor Market Reform: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

On the 5th of August, a list of planned legislative amendments for regulating the functioning of the labor market passed their second reading in parliament. These amendments, which are also likely to pass their third and final reading in coming weeks, are expected to improve workers’ protection. Among the areas expected to see significant changes are: • maximum number of working hours; • mandatory weekly rest time; • breaks between shifts; • regulation of internships, part-time work, and nightshifts; • maternity/parental rights; • mandate and powers of t...
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Dec
14

Are Giorgi and Mariam More Employable than Arthur and Zeynab?

  It all started with a simple exercise for my Master’s project in which I tried to understand the underlying causes of the observed wage gap between ethnic Georgians and ethnic minorities in the country. After more than a decade, a reputable international journal has published a paper reporting on the experimental evidence my colleagues and I collected and analyzed on labor market outcomes for ethnic minority and female citizens of Georgia. Back in 2008, using the Integrated Household Survey collected by the statistics office of Georgia for 2007 an...
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May
21

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education: Should You Take a Dance and/or a Computer Programming Class?

That there is a persistent demand for adult education should come as no surprise. Most people would agree that learning is a lifelong process. A distinction, however, should be made between the notion of learning understood as a process of self-discovery over one’s lifetime, and learning understood in terms of the acquisition of a certain set of skills, often for the purpose of advancing one’s position in the labor market. The two notions, although distinct, are related. It can be argued, for example, that the more skills we have, the more we can engage ...
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Apr
19

Bread Should Be Baked By the Baker!

"Sixty-Eight Million Dollars Were Given for Colleges Last Year: – if  the Mania for College Education Continues We May Soon Expect the Above State of Affairs" American and Western European visitors to Georgia are fascinated by the fact that middle-aged Georgian taxi drivers often brandish a couple of engineering degrees, while young hotel receptionists and shop assistants frequently come with law, business and international relations education. Having spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, visitors may come to imagine that Georgia is so abundant in huma...
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Recent Comments
Florian Biermann
Ok, the situation is dire, but what do you expect in a country with $4,000 per capita income? One should compare the situation in ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 2:02 PM
Simon Appleby
One issue not discussed in the issue of military conscription. Suspended midway through last year, it was reinstated in Novemberht... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 2:02 PM
Eric Livny
Simon, thanks for your comment. First, I could not agree more. We actually do mention the current system of military conscription ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 3:03 PM
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Mar
25

Beyond Political Slogans: Better Analysis for Better Labor Market Policies

The labor market is always a hot topic in our country, and debate about it usually overheats as elections approach. Referring to unsatisfactory labor market indicators is always a good way to emphasize the mistakes and/or the inertia of the ruling parties. Another common way to score points is making pre-election promises of increased future employment. One way or another, parties always promise and voters always believe their promises (including unrealistic ones). The only thing which does not seem to be affected is labor market, possibly because behind...
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Jul
11

Overworked and Underpaid

WORKING OVERTIME…  In 2014, 22% of the Georgia’s working adults reported having worked more than 40 hour per week, i.e. working overtime. This many not sound like a lot, but, as any average figure, it hides a great deal of geographic variation in the incidence of overtime work. Very few people work overtime in places where there are almost no jobs, such as Kakheti or Racha. Conversely, more than 50% work over 8 hours/day in the dynamically developing Tbilisi, and as many as 44% in the adjacent Kvemo Kartli.  With so many people doing it, ...
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Simon Appleby
A 40 hour workweek is actually very short by emerging markets standards. Pretty much anywhere in East Asia has a 5 1/2 day week as... Read More
Monday, 30 November 2015 12:12 PM
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