ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jul
15

The "Wizz Air Effect" or how Georgia Became Part of the Global Economy

On Monday evening I am taking the express train from Tbilisi to Samtredia with my wife and two kids (business class, 120GEL). We plan to stay overnight in a little family hotel (40GEL), and at 6.30am we’ll board the Wizz Air flight to Katowice, Poland, at the cost €40 a person and €35 per suitcase (one way). Seat reservations, luggage, train and guesthouse included, the roundtrip to Poland will cost my family around €700 compared to €1,500-2,000 using any other, conventional option. A real bargain! (even if we ignore the fact that my wife’s family is act...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Mathias
I am curious to hear about the Kutaisi airport experience. Kutaisi is operated by a government owned company which still hasn't ma... Read More
Monday, 15 July 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Mathias, thanks for raising these very important questions. I tried to look up the TAV concession agreement but so far was not suc... Read More
Monday, 15 July 2013 12:12 PM
Guest — Daniel
The Kutaisi Airport is somewhat a child of the old, pre-2012 government. Saakashvili wanted to scatter airports around the country... Read More
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 5:05 AM
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Apr
23

Jobless Growth in Georgia

There is no arguing that during the ten years since the Rose Revolution, the Georgian economy registered an impressive growth performance, averaging 6.6% per annum. Summing up Georgia’s post-2004 growth experience, a recent ISET-PI study (Babych and Fuenfzig (2012)), finds it “remarkable not only in light of the 5.3 percent average growth rate in the 1995-2002 period, but also considering that the average GDP growth rate for European and Central Asian developing countries was about 5.1 percent in the period between 2003-2010.” Yet behind the gliste...
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 8:08 PM
Guest — Eric
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 9:09 PM
Guest — M
What is the evidence for the alleged skill mismatch? When me and Yasya were working on the growth diagnostics study we were lookin... Read More
Thursday, 25 April 2013 3:03 PM
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Dec
19

Detecting Tourism Bottlenecks

Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of UN (T&T CI) ranked Georgia 73, in 2011. With this rank, Georgia topped South Caucasus region nevertheless, maintaining the same rank as in 2009. This could mean that not much had improved during those three years in terms of competitiveness of Georgia as a brand in the business of tourism. Looking at the data on international tourist arrivals and international tourism receipts – they both have been steadily increasing since 2000. From the first glance this upward trend seems promising. We have more tourist...
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Guest — Leqso
Indeed, expensive flight tickets are one of the key challenges for Georgian tourism industry, however bearing in mind that only sm... Read More
Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:11 AM
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Dec
17

Touristic Destination or Trade Corridor?

Georgia’s competitiveness is said to hinge on its strategic location between East and West. The latest data on border crossings (by people and trucks) allow to shed light on progress to date and take a glimpse into the future. The efforts to develop Georgia as a major touristic destination in recent years seem to have paid off. The number of international arrivals to Georgia has been growing rapidly, reaching 2,822,363 in 2011. In the first 11 months of 2012, the number of visitors exceeded 4mln, which is 58% more than in the same period of 2011. Interna...
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Jul
25

From “failed state” to role model – what Greece can learn from Georgia

In the 1990's, my brother traveled in Georgia with a friend. They were cruising around with an old van, looking for archaeological sites and other cultural heritage. Every 10 kilometers they were stopped by police who politely asked for baksheesh. My brother’s friend hated corruption, and, more significantly, had severe difficulties controlling his temper. After this pathetic annoyance was constantly going on for days, he became angry and shouted at the policemen: “Your country is the most rotten place on earth. I will never come back to Georgia and I wi...
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Guest — nikos avgeris
The issue of corruption is indeed a very important one and at the centre of the debate lately. However i find myself rather disagr... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 1:01 PM
Guest — Florian
I am not a greek-hater. I were in Greece probably around 20 times ... I know Rhodes like my home town, I was hiking two weeks in I... Read More
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 7:07 PM
Guest — Eric
I very much like the post, even though the comparison to Greece is not terribly scientific. Something tells me that if Florian's b... Read More
Thursday, 26 July 2012 3:03 PM
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2013
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Jun
26

Georgian decency as a competitive advantage I: The facts

Members of the same nation have the same “cultural background”, which means that they share a good deal of political and social values and ideals, and they tend to believe in the same recipes to solve their problems. Such fundamental attitudes are often shaped by the historical experiences of a nation. For example, England had a kind of merchant democracy since the 14th century, when the House of Commons was founded. In the former Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, merchants had no institutionalized possibility to influence politics. Bribery and utilizin...
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Guest — Sanjit Dhami
Excellent post Florian! You are right in thinking about culture and its possible link to economic variables. I too admire the tra... Read More
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric
A great post, Florian! Every time I take a taxi in Tbilisi I run the experiment that you describe: I stop a cab and get in without... Read More
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Florian
We do not know what was the taxi drivers' conducts in Georgia 10 years ago. It could be that it was worse than today, but perhaps ... Read More
Thursday, 28 June 2012 6:06 AM
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