ISET

Giorgi Kelbakiani, Eric Livny

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
07

If You Are So Smart, Why Are You Stuck in Kutaisi?

Rachvelis, the natives of a beautiful highland region in western Georgia, have a reputation for being slow but thorough in speaking and behavior. Whether slow or not, Rachvelis are certainly not dumb. At least according to their performance in the national General Ability Test (GAT). In 2012, students from Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti (R-L-KS) were 2nd (!) after Tbilisi on the average GAT performance (Chart 1). Yet, not as many Rachvelis as one would expect end up in the best Georgian universities (Chart 2), which, judging by the average GAT perform...
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Dec
16

The Georgian Egg of Discord

While ISET’s Khachapuri Index continues to climb up in a perfectly predictable fashion – driven by the seasonal increase in the price of cheese – a bit of drama is being provided by the ups and downs in the price of eggs. According to ISET data, egg prices, which for a couple of years hovered around 29 tetri a piece, suddenly collapsed in June and July 2013 to a minimum of about 26 tetri. A month later, however, egg prices started increasing in a very sharp manner, reaching an all time high of more than 32 tetri in October. In November egg prices stabili...
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Nov
30

Does Georgia Need More and Larger Cities?

We may recall that the Lazika city project has been proposed by the Saakashvili administration to accelerate the process of urbanization. A new city was suggested as a means of absorbing surplus rural population and thus paving the way for land consolidation and greater productivity in agriculture. No country, it was claimed, was able to modernize itself while maintaining almost 50% in rural employment. Yet, if we look at the global statistics, Georgia is reasonably urbanized. With 53.2% of urban dwellers, Georgia is ranked 107 in the world, slightly beh...
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