ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus financed within the institutional grant by the Government of Sweden.
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Wood: Still the Most Affordable Fuel Option for Rural Households?
Despite the fast pace of installing gas infrastructure throughout the country, wood remains a major household fuel in Georgia. According to Georgia’s energy balance, in 2014, Georgian households consumed 19,131 Terajoules of biofuel and waste (mainly wood). The share of wood in total energy consumed by households was 38%.
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Access to Electricity: Is Off-the-Grid an Option?
Assuring access to modern energy services for the whole population is a crucial step to improve human well-being and stimulate economic and social development. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified the lack of access to modern energy services as one of the main obstacles to overcome in order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. In its 2011 World Energy Outlook, the IEA argued forcefully about the need to find and mobilize the resources required to extend access to modern energy services to the poor around the world.
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The Fight of the Century
Fight of the Century? Well, that was Joe Frazier against Muhammad Ali, New York 1971, right? Wrong! For an economist, the Fight of the Century refers to the intellectual debate between the illustrious economists, John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) and Friedrich August Hayek (1899-1992). A battle at least as hot as the boxing fight, if not even much hotter!
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The Most Economical Economic Indicators
Measuring economic developments is often a laborious business. Consider, for example, the Consumer Price Index (CPI). One first has to define the so-called consumption basket that contains the goods and services whose prices you want to track. These goods and services have to be represented in the basket in the right proportions, reflecting the consumption patterns of an average consumer.
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The Strategic Dilemma of the Tbilisi Marshrutka Drivers
Everyone using the service of the Tbilisi marshrutkas experiences one of two extreme cases: the marshrutka either moves tantalizingly slowly or excessively fast. How can this apparent paradox be explained? In search of an answer, let us turn to game theory, one of the appealings outgrows of mathematical economics.
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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 6.30 am we’ll board the Wizz Air flight to Katowice, Poland, at the cost of €40 a person and €35 per suitcase (one way).