ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
09

The New Prescription Rules: Repeating Western Mistakes

So far, many Georgians solved minor health problems in a non-bureaucratic way. Instead of consulting doctors, they asked friends, relatives, and the internet what medicine should be taken as a remedy for a given issue. Once they had received enough information, they went to a pharmacy, and, with some additional advice from the pharmacist, bought the medicine they expected to be helpful. This practice has now come to an end. From September 2014, a large number of pharmaceuticals labeled as “second group medicines”, including painkillers and antibiotics, w...
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Guest — Helene Ryding
I don't disagree with the main points of the article (especially that doctors pursue their own economic interest). But the graph... Read More
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Florian Biermann
Very interesting, Helene. Thanks for the remark. Yet even in the United States and France, the cost shares of pharmaceuticals are ... Read More
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thank God, I went to a pharmacy last night and was able to buy Drotaverine (No-Spa, or Noshpa, as it is known here, a very common ... Read More
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 5:05 AM
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Mar
31

The Ethics of Empty Stomachs

At the end of Act 2 of Bertolt Brecht’s Three-Penny-Opera, the proletarian petty criminal Macheath and his prostitute Jenny reply to the bourgeois representatives of the establishment urging them to uphold moral standards: “First comes a full stomach, then comes ethics!” This aphorism echoes the widely held contention that ethical behavior is a privilege of those who have satisfied their material needs. How can one expect somebody who is fighting for survival to be decent and honorable? Indeed, when civilization broke down during wars and disasters, huma...
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Guest — Zahra
History of growth associated with development and switch from agriculture to industry and then to service sector. As the more inco... Read More
Monday, 21 April 2014 7:07 PM
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Mar
07

Consumer Rights in Georgia

On the 15th of March 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a seminal speech to the congress, outlining the four rights that he considered essential for consumers: the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard. Ever since Kennedy’s speech, the idea of consumer protection blossomed both in theory and in practice. In this year, 52 years after Kennedy’s speech, Georgia will pass a new law on the protection of consumer rights. Let us have a look at consumer protection in general, in Georgia, and at the ...
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Guest — Eric
One can check Friedman's opinion on this. But, regardless, the market is very good at generating information that is demanded by c... Read More
Sunday, 09 March 2014 11:11 PM
Guest — Florian
Would Friedman agree that we need a regulation that forces companies to be transparent? Arguably, Friedman would insist that marke... Read More
Sunday, 09 March 2014 10:10 PM
Guest — Eric
I don't think Friedman would be against transparency. To be able to choose people should know what they are buying. But there is a... Read More
Sunday, 09 March 2014 9:09 PM
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Jan
24

The Washington Consensus and Georgia

Economics Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, well-known for sharply criticizing the conventional wisdoms of development economics, once summed up his views in a rhetorical question: “We have felt the pain, when do we get the gain?” Stiglitz wanted to point out that standard development strategies require countries to pay a high price in exchange for the promise of a better future. The price comes in form of harsh poverty for some members of the society, income reduction for many, social strain, and increased inequality. While it is obvious that the “pai...
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Guest — Florian Biermann
True, according to the Ricardo Model, every country has a comparative advantage in something. The way you put it, i.e. Georgia hav... Read More
Friday, 24 January 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Eric
"Trade liberalization may be beneficial for a country that, unlike Georgia, enters the stage with comparative advantages in variou... Read More
Friday, 24 January 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — RT
An interesting article. Have to re-read and digest.But why are persistent current account deficits "rather unusual" for a low inco... Read More
Friday, 24 January 2014 5:05 PM
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Dec
20

Looking Over the Border: The Pension Reform in Armenia

On the first of January, Armenia will adopt an entirely new pension system. This radical reform addresses two problems: widespread poverty among the elderly and a lack of capital in the economy. The very same problems also exist in Georgia, where the standard governmental pension currently is 150 lari, and where the economy is suffering from high capital costs due to notoriously low saving rates. So, it is worthwhile to have a look at what is going on in our neighboring country Armenia. Georgian decision makers may learn important lessons from their expe...
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Guest — Vardan
If it is true that 80% of funds are going to be invested in Armenia, I wonder how is the riskiness scale measured. At the same tim... Read More
Friday, 20 December 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Lasha
I wonder what does government guarantee mean and how losses are capped, or what is "government" money. It is very difficult refor... Read More
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:10 AM
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Nov
04

From Thieves-in-Law Towards the Rule of Law

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in his Leviathan describes the conditions where “there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, po...
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Guest — Eric Livny
This sounds awfully complicated, dear NP. All I said is that: 1) Georgia should do a bit better in terms of eradicating corruption... Read More
Monday, 04 November 2013 3:03 PM
Guest — NP
Ok. Then you are assuming that, despite the "lower" effectiveness against crime (that you cite as a possible effect of a less arbi... Read More
Monday, 04 November 2013 3:03 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
the kind of corruption I have in mind is, for example, when the government is awarding contracts to companies owned by senior memb... Read More
Monday, 04 November 2013 12:12 PM
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