ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
21

Georgia’s Shrinking Population

“Georgians would have half a child if there was such a possibility”. Armenian Bishop Vazgen in Kita Buachidze’s Black Book   According to the population projections of the United Nations (constant fertility scenario), by the end of this century the Georgian people will count only 2.8 million. In 2013, Georgia has been among only 19 countries in the world with a population that decreased year on year. An aggravating factor is the sex ratio of babies, which in Georgia is heavily skewed towards males. While globally about 107 boys are born per 100 girl...
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Eric Livny
Great responses, Nino, many thanks! Let's make Georgia a better place and procreate
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 9:09 AM
Nino Doghonadze
Eric, you are asking difficult questions but I will try to answer below:"Should Georgia be worried about having not enough or too ... Read More
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 8:08 AM
Guest — FlorianBiermann
Eric, the article discusses the question whether a demographic problem exists at all separately from the question what are the pos... Read More
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 7:07 PM
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Mar
30

Does it Make Sense to Subsidize Smallholder Georgian Agriculture, and if so How?

While Georgia never faced anything like a wartime food crisis, the agricultural policies implemented by the Georgian Dream coalition government in 2013-2015 did not lack in ambition, seeking to make up for more than a decade of “active neglect” of Georgia’s smallholder agriculture by the Saakashvili administration. In this piece, we take a critical look at one of the first government initiatives, the Agricultural Card Program, introduced in February 2013.  According to the then Minister of Agriculture David Kirvalidze, the program aimed to “revive G...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for the question, Humph! We don't have any evidence and, in fact, are not claiming that "the growth in cultivated areas and... Read More
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 1:01 PM
Guest — Salome
Thank you for your question. Majority of respondents claimed increase in output and sown areas, but you would probably agree, that... Read More
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Humph Abbott
Hi Eric and team. What evidence do you have to justify the assumption implicit in your first and second charts and supporting text... Read More
Monday, 30 March 2015 7:07 PM
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Feb
20

Education for the Poor

Worldwide, cash transfer programs are used to fight poverty. Developing countries typically spend between 1% and 2% of GDP on cash transfers (“Cash Transfers: a Literature Review”, DFID Policy Division, 2011). International donors also invest substantially into such programs. The rationale for cash transfers goes beyond relieving short-run poverty. In their 2011 book Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, eminent development economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo explain the approach as follows: People are poor bec...
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Guest — Helene Ryding
Economists tend to think that all money is the same. If you are poor, then you simply don't have enough, and are forced constantl... Read More
Friday, 20 February 2015 7:07 PM
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Sep
19

The Puzzle of Poverty and Wages in Georgia

POVERTY PERSISTING… Any Georgian growing up in the “dark” 1990s (a literally dark, and rather gloomy period in the recent history of our country) would remember the canned milk powder distributed, together with some other goodies, to families with children aged below 5. These black and white cans were often used as flower pots in many of these families… Being a kid from that dark age, one author of this blog was surprised to discover that, according to the World Bank’s poverty estimations, Georgia is doing worse today than it did then...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Just to get people to work would be a major achievement. When I see my 30 y.o. neighbor (former rugby player) watching TV all day ... Read More
Friday, 19 September 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Florian Biermann
Interesting article. Rising poverty is not unusual when a country develops (Kuznets Curve). The problematic incentives set by soci... Read More
Friday, 19 September 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Aaron Erlich (@aserlich)
I think what the studies of worker programs in Western context miss in a place like Georgia is that so many folks have been unempl... Read More
Friday, 19 September 2014 2:02 PM
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Jun
20

Why Care About Informal Employment?

Before answering this question, let us define what economists usually mean with ” informal employment”. There is some confusion with this term, and sometimes it is improperly used as a synonym for tax evasion or illegality. ILO defines informal employment as: employment “consisting of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and incomes to the persons concerned. These units typically operate at a low level of organisation, with little or no division between labour and capital as factors of p...
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Jun
16

Georgia – A Country Between Poland and Korea

In the first part of this article (available also on the homepage of The Financial), I described some of the adverse incentives resulting from a social welfare system. Then I argued that according to Simon Kuznet’s famous paradigm, increasing inequality is hardly evitable when a country enters a growth trajectory (as Georgia did in 2003), and I reasoned that it is at least an ambivalent (not to say questionable) policy for Georgia, at its current state of development, to fight inequality by social welfare measures. In this vein, the articl...
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