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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
30

Food Prices are on Fire

In November 2019, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as measured by the Food Price Index (FPI), drastically increased by 13.4% compared to November 2018 and contributed 4.02 percentage points to the change in the total Consumer Price Index (CPI). In recent months, annual food inflation marked at its highest level since August 2011 (Figure 1).1 Figure 1: Annual Food Price Inflation (January 2010-November 2019) Prices increased for all sub-categories of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The largest price increases were observed for fruits and gr...
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Dec
27

Has Georgia Solved its “Missing Girls” Problem?

Son Preference refers to an attitude founded on the belief that girls are inadequate and of lesser value than boys (Indo-Canadian Women’s Association).   Gender Biased Sex Selection (GBSS) can occur (a) before a pregnancy, (b) prenatally or (c) following birth (by neglect). The most common way of GBSS involves two steps: (1) determination the sex of a fetus using ultrasound technologies and (2) choosing whether or not to undertake or continue a pregnancy ba...
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Dec
18

The Role of Circular Labor Migration in Reducing Unemployment: How Ambitious Should it Be?

The topic of circular labor migration has recently received increased attention within the objective of reducing unemployment in Georgia. Circular migration Schemes (CMS) are widely recognized policy tools for reducing illegal migration and facilitating the return of emigrants to their countries of origin. The Georgian government’s increased interest and efforts to develop circular migration deals with EU member states serve, on the one hand, the long-term objective of addressing high level of unemployment, and, on the other hand, to reduce illegal, and ...
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Dec
06

The Georgian Tax Lottery Experiment after Seven Years

More than three decades ago economists famously concluded that tax compliance is rather irrational behavior. Literature, across a wide range of disciplines, has since been overflowing with analysis as to why we see so much tax compliance in the modern world. The academic literature is concerned with why people pay so much tax or why so many people pay taxes, therefore policy-makers can gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms, which thus allows them to design appropriate policy actions to boost revenue efforts. Income generated from tax collect...
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Dec
03

Inclusive and Sustainable Development of The Mountainous Regions: Myth or Reality?

  Mountains cover 54% of Georgia’s territory. People living in those areas represent the most vulnerable group of Georgian society. Land erosion and climate change are prevalent in the mountains; unsustainable use of natural resources (forests in particular) and limited access to infrastructure pose significant risks to the lives of people there. In order to ensure the inclusive and sustainable development of the mountainous regions, the Georgian Government adopted the Law on the Development of Mountainous Regions in 2015. A bit later, in 2018, the ...
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Nov
08

Georgian Energy Security: Reflecting on the September Power Market Data

After facing a generation deficit during the month of August, Georgia continued to experience a decrease in power generation. In September 2019, generation decreased by 3% compared to September 2018 and by 19% compared to August 2019. Georgian power plants generated 821 mln kWh of electricity while consumption of electricity in the local market was 972 mln kWh. Compared to August, electricity consumption decreased by 12%. Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September (at least partially due to lower demand for air conditio...
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