ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
03

Riding the Dragon

Cultural and intellectual achievements herald economic success of a people, and the Chinese cultural and intellectual heritage is breathtaking. The Chinese discovered gunpowder, the compass, and the movable type printing press long before the Europeans. Admiral Zheng He’s fleet reached Mogadishu and Mombasa with up to 28,000 sailors at the same time when the Europeans set out to discover Africa with crews of not more than 300 sailors. Temporarily lamed by Mao and his followers, capitalism has unleashed the dragon once again! China is about to become the ...
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Guest — Eric Livny
A very interesting undertaking, thanks for posting. There is a development theory attributed to Alexander Gershenkron (http://en.w... Read More
Monday, 03 June 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Simon Appleby
Good to see this analysis, well done. Xinjiang Hualing is a private company, albeit with close connections to the Chinese governme... Read More
Monday, 03 June 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — M
There is a history of Chinese immigration into Georgia jumpstarting domestic industries: "[...] a tea-specialist named Liu Junzhou... Read More
Monday, 03 June 2013 12:12 PM
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Apr
12

Progress Through Immigration

Georgia has one of the most liberal immigration policies worldwide. Everybody can enter Georgia with an airport visa that is valid for one year. Permanent residency status is granted as soon as one has found employment. Yet compared to other capitals, one encounters rather few foreigners when walking through Tbilisi’s streets. How can Georgia sustain its liberal policy without being overrun by immigrants? There are two rather trivial reasons. Firstly, there is no incentive to “immigrate into the welfare state”, simply because Georgia does not have one. A...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
A very interesting and well researched article. It is good to hear some arguments in favour of migration from Georgian academics.T... Read More
Saturday, 13 April 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Florian
You added highly interesting facts. Indeed, when Isabella and Ferdinand expelled the Jews of Spain, this qualifies as the first br... Read More
Saturday, 13 April 2013 6:06 PM
Guest — Eric
As I wrote in Georgian Driving Manners and Economic Competitiveness, "there may be something about the country and its people that... Read More
Saturday, 13 April 2013 10:10 PM
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Nov
09

On Democratization and Growth - Once Again

A long season of high–stakes elections in Georgia, Ukraine, and now the United States is finally over. Once the last campaign posters are taken down, we may as well start asking: now what? Whether we like to admit it or not, the success of democracy is probably ill measured by the show of competitive campaigns or the transparency of the voting system. Instead, the success largely depends on how informed and engaged in the political process the general public remains after the elections. This is something Ukraine has discovered the hard way sinc...
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Guest — Zak
Interesting. The right panel of the is indeed intriguing. I had a quick glance at the paper and I was wondering how much is the au... Read More
Friday, 09 November 2012 12:12 PM
Guest — Yasya
Zak, I think the time dependence problem is mitigated a bit by the fact that he is using relative growth rates (single-year growth... Read More
Friday, 09 November 2012 10:10 PM
Guest — Michael
He controls for the Zeitgeist (his term), so this at first sight not an issue.
Saturday, 10 November 2012 5:05 PM
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Oct
18

Political Instability in Fragile Democracies

Free Policy Briefs has an insightful post on political instability in Kyrgyzstan. The literature, typically using panel data covering many countries, shows that higher government turnover rates reduces growth significantly in both economic and statistical terms, even for established democracies. Looking at government turnover in more polarized societies and unconstitutional change in power (revolutions and coups), the effect is estimated to be even larger. Is this relevant for Georgia? Only the future will show.
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Guest — Eric
This reference to the "literature" (Tolstoy?) does not make any sense. The link cannot be linear. Too little government turnover c... Read More
Friday, 19 October 2012 12:12 AM
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Oct
13

Economics Everywhere. What Does a Cheap Violin Have to Do With Romanticism?

The term “economics imperialism” has been coined in recent decades to describe a tendency of economists to meddle with such seemingly non-economic aspects of life as crime, the family, irrational behavior, politics, culture, religion and war. Mine is an attempt to invade the world of music. Let’s visit Versaille first: This is baroque music, middle baroque, to be more precise. It is written by a guy, whose name was Jean Baptiste Lully for another guy, who went by a nickname a Sun King. The latter was a sucker for a good operas, ballets and...
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Guest — Eric
How about the Georgian music? Do you observe the same trend?
Monday, 15 October 2012 10:10 PM
Guest — Giorgi
Georgian professional music counts only about 150 years and folk music is, well, folk
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 10:10 AM
Guest — Eric
I saw the grand piano Alexander Chavchavadze imported to Georgia some time in the first half of the 19th century (supposedly the f... Read More
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:12 PM
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Oct
03

Do Financial Crises Hurt Economic Recoveries?

The question of the title seems to be a rhetorical one. With the 2008 global financial crisis fresh in our minds, the logic of the vicious cycle between the economic slowdown, troubles in the banking sector, credit crunch, and the subsequent industrial decline reinforcing the credit conundrums seems quite apparent. But are the recessions accompanied by financial crises different from other brands of recessions?  And if so, how? The economists are yet to reach the ultimate verdict. And yet, this purely academic question comes to the fore of political...
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Guest — Eric
Yasya, can you give an example of a recent non-financial recession? I have a hard time recalling one...
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:10 PM
Guest — Yasya
Eric, you are right that in many, or perhaps nearly all cases the recessions are accompanied by a hit on the financial institution... Read More
Thursday, 04 October 2012 8:08 AM
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