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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
19

What Chile teaches Georgia

In 1991, the former finance minister of Chile, Alejandro Foxley, said in an interview: “We may not like the government that came before us. But they did many things right. We have inherited an economy that is an asset.” About twenty years before, General Augusto Pinochet had toppled the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. Pinochet’s rule from 1973 to 1990 was characterized by severe violations of human rights, yet finally he agreed to hold a referendum on his political future, and when the Chilean people voted against him, he ste...
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Eric Livny
Why do we need a bloody and corrupt dictator to teach us the virtues of liberalizing Georgia’s foreign trade or not meddling with ... Read More
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 3:03 PM
Giorgi Vashakidze
The internet is full of critical accounts about the economic (and not only) aspects of Pinochets regime, including by Chileans and... Read More
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 8:08 AM
Eric Livny
I shared this article with a Hebrew University classmate of mine, currently an economics professor in Chile. This is what he wrote... Read More
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 1:01 PM
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Sep
27

Jobs for Life in Georgian Universities?

Few may have noticed an amendment to the Georgian Law on Higher Education, passed in December 2015, which potentially ushers in a new era for Georgia’s higher education system. As of January 2017, (some) Georgian professors and senior research staff will be appointed for an indefinite term (i.e. given "tenure"). Offered decent compensation and protected from political pressures and job insecurity, they will be able to indulge in academic endeavors, nurturing a new generation of Georgian academics and promoting Georgian science onto the global scene. This...
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Eric Livny
This amendment is actually much worse than I have initially thought. According to Article 35, all professors shall be hired for an... Read More
Thursday, 29 September 2016 11:11 AM
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Sep
05

Georgian Pension Reform – an Experiment in Libertarian Paternalism?

Starting from October 1, 2017, a private retirement savings system will be launched in Georgia as part of a broader pension reform. This reform has been discussed by Nino Doghonadze and Yaroslava Babych in Decent Income in Old Age: Georgian Dream or Reality? on the ISET Economist. Today we will focus only on one very interesting aspect of the reform – the “opt-out” principle and its implementation in the Georgian realities. WHAT’S IN THE “OPT-OUT”? The proposed private retirement savings system is based on the “opt-out” principle, according to which...
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Simon Appleby
The pension reform is inspired by the systems used in Australia, Hong Kong and Chile. In each case, they are mandatory systems wit... Read More
Sunday, 17 April 2016 8:08 AM
Eric Livny
A very good point about timing, Simon! Indeed, combined with the corporate tax reform, the pension reform has better chances of pa... Read More
Sunday, 17 April 2016 2:02 PM
Simon Appleby
In other jurisdictions, government makes no grants at all to private pension funds (unless talking about mandated employer contrib... Read More
Sunday, 17 April 2016 3:03 PM
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Jun
20

MINDSPACE: a New Way to Influence Behavior through Public Policy

WHEN SUCCESS SPEAKS TOO LOUDLY In November 2015, the National Audit Office of the UK has published a report saying: “The Department for Work and Pensions has successfully introduced automatic enrolment to workplace pensions for large and medium-sized employers.” The National Audit Office found that 58,000 employers have enrolled 5.4 million workers between October 2012 and August 2015. The huge increase in enrolment was due to a small policy change introduced by the UK government in October 2012. The Government switched the default option from one i...
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Salome Deisadze
This is completely innovative way to re-think about government policy. It has been thought that the main instruments of government... Read More
Monday, 20 June 2016 9:09 AM
Martin Smith
Magnificent. I pasted out the charts. Obviously, the UK idea is groundbreaking and can hardly be applied in Georgia....although it... Read More
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 1:01 PM
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Jun
19

A Temporary ‘High’? Improvements in Business, Consumer Confidence Should Not Distract Policy-Makers from the Long-Term View

In the year of elections any piece of economic analysis is usually seasoned with a hefty dose of caution. Every analyst is aware of the fact that the incumbents will be too eager to oversell the ‘good’, while the opposition will pound on the ‘bad’. Weary of taking sides in political battles, economists usually switch on their primary defense mechanism: they start relying (heavily) on the annoying “on the one hand”, “on the other hand” kinds of phrases. I am of course referring to Georgia in the year of 2016. What people should keep in mind, however, is t...
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Apr
11

The Samtredia Redemption

Nino Kakulia was born in Samtredia on 15 October 1991, in the last days of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. By the time Nino and independent Georgia were celebrating their 13th birthdays, the Georgian government embarked on a series of long overdue reforms, one of which was about cleansing the country’s higher education system from corruption.  This was undoubtedly an excellent and timely reform for Nino, an ambitious student in Samtredia’s school. Until then, to get admitted into a public university, Nino or, rather, her family, would have h...
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Florian Biermann
The article is very idealistic, not to say romantic, about young people’s desire to acquire EDUCATION. I do not doubt that there a... Read More
Monday, 11 April 2016 7:07 AM
Eric Livny
Nino is certainly a romantic idealist, but I dont think there is anything idealist or romantic about the article. I dont claim tha... Read More
Monday, 11 April 2016 10:10 AM
Florian Biermann
I got your point. Critical thinking should indeed be encouraged in Georgian schools, that is also my impression, even if the stude... Read More
Monday, 11 April 2016 10:10 AM
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