ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

What Happens When Institutions are Designed to Provide Bullet-proof Protection against Fraud?

DESIGNING LIBRARIES  “Shock and awe” is a US military term describing the use of overwhelming power to demoralize the enemy, as applied by the American military in Iraq. “Shock and awe” would also aptly describe my emotional state when I entered, at the age of 23, the magnificent reading room at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This was the moment when I – a former paratrooper and an officer with one of Israel’s security services – understood how badly I want to acquire an education. Not technical knowledge or skills, but an education.    ...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
Co-op size of 3-5 members makes perfect sense for the current Georgian reality. People related by blood or marriage, who have long... Read More
Thursday, 26 March 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Nikita
Coop growth diagnosticsCan you answer the following questions?1. Why do Georgian farmers form coops? Do they want to grow their bu... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for asking these questions, Nikita... I like the approach of tacking the so-called binding constraint(s), which would of co... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 7:07 PM
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Harmonize, but do not Harm!

The “do no harm” (primum non nocere) principle is well known to students of medical schools. It is one of the most fundamental maxims in medicine, as formulated, for example, in the Epidemics book of the Hippocratic Collection: “The physician must ... have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm". Doctors are taught that medical interventions are not risk-free. Thus, when facing a “problem” one should consider whether to use a particular procedure (e.g. surgery or chemical treatment) or do NOTHING. Not surp...
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Guest — Miranda
Great and "to the point" article! Concerning the topic itself, I just wonder how quickly Doing Business indicator will worsen for... Read More
Friday, 13 February 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thank you, Fady! It was my pleasure to contribute to the ongoing debate. I hope I did no harm :-)
Monday, 16 February 2015 12:12 PM
Guest — Fady Asly (@fadyasly)
Fantastically well written piece! Thanks Eric.
Saturday, 14 February 2015 1:01 PM
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Georgia Needs Punitive Damages

A few days ago, I was walking in Kostava Street towards the Philharmony when I passed a construction site that was separated from the sidewalk by a wooden fence. Suddenly, I heard the ugly sound of fabric torn apart. Yes, it had happened! My nice winter coat was ripped up by a rusty nail that stuck out of the fence, causing a huge hole in the coat that went down to the lining. Was it my own fault? Well, it was already dark and the nail could hardly be seen, and I was speaking with somebody walking next to me. Therefore, I think I am innocent. One rather ...
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Guest — Rayray
The same applied to unfixed roads. We live near Gogebashvili St which has been drugged up for weeks (mind you the road was fine!) ... Read More
Monday, 03 November 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — purposefulorg
AND you could get tetanus from a rusty nail if it tears your skin. About Gogebashvili, Rayray is being nice--that road has been t... Read More
Monday, 03 November 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Jeff, sounds like good news, not bad. Ripped coats, or ripped shoulders, somebody should be held responsible for rusty nails and u... Read More
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 7:07 AM
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Crime and Punishment in Georgia

According to CRRC Barometer surveys and other opinion polls, police has been until quite recently one the most respected institutions in the Georgian society. With 88% of the population holding a favorable view of its performance, police came second after church (93%) in the 2011 survey conducted by the International Republican Institute. In 2013, as little as 9% of Georgian citizens said they do not trust the police (an improvement of 2 percentage points over 2012). There are, indeed, good reasons for Georgian citizens to be happy with the quality of la...
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Guest — Hans Gutbrod
it has been said that the police now discourage people from filing complaints or charges, to make their statistics look good. This... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 8:08 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Dear Edith, can tell more about this? All we see is this pdf file. Has there been any assessment report by "European experts" or a... Read More
Monday, 03 November 2014 8:08 AM
Guest — Edith
This has always been the case and if you know how research is conducted on crime reports your skin would crawl, with the help of E... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 8:08 PM
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