ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jul
17

The Georgian COVID-19 Response: Was the Lockdown Worthwhile?

Since its start, the pandemic has spread to more than 180 countries, with governments around the world each reacting differently to the new global threat. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker gauges the strictness of countries’ responses using a stringency index, which compares governmental policies over several dimensions. It is important to note that a higher index score does not necessarily imply an effective response; alone it simply indicates that a government undertook stricter containment measures.1 Moreover, the stringency index tracks...
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Mar
27

Regional Impacts of COVID-19 Shock to HORECA Sector

The outbreak of the virus and the corresponding containment measures have started to severely affect the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in its Interim Economic Outlook Report (2020) on March 2nd downgraded 2020 real GDP growth projections for almost every country. The largest reduction in growth projections is seen for China (-0.8 percentage points) with worldwide real GDP growth rate expected to decline from 2.9% (November 2019 forecast) to 2.4%. In their report on March 6th, Asian Development Bank (AD...
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Jan
31

Recent Monetary Policy Measures and Lending Regulations — the Effect on Georgian Lending Patterns

High and rising levels of foreign currency indebtedness have been an important topic in Georgia over the past several years. To address this issue and protect borrowers from currency risks, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), as well as the Georgian Government have implemented regulations to hinder excess indebtedness. Let’s have a look at the timeline (Figure 1) of recent lending regulations and the accompanying monetary policy measures and observe their impact on changing lending patterns in the Georgian economy. Figure 1. Timeline of lending regulatio...
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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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