ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
31

Quitting or Going Underground? How Georgians Responded to Increased Tobacco Regulations

  It is World No Tobacco Day – a yearly celebration that “informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco.” This year’s theme is “Commit to quit”, and if you are a smoker you can find useful information on the WHO webpage devoted to ending smoking. As promised in our previous blog, Tobacco Control in Georgia, here I continue to explore topics connected to the local economic and health impacts of smoking, and the corr...
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Apr
19

Tobacco Control in Georgia

  Smoking and passive smoking are some of the main problems for public health in Georgia. According to the WHO, 29.9% of adults in Georgia smoked tobacco in 2017. Smoking prevalence among males was 54.6% – fifth in the world and first in Europe. A study by UNDP suggests that about 0.4% of the adult population of Georgia die annually from tobacco-related diseases and the estimated total annual economic costs of smoking account for 2.4% of GDP. TOBACCO CONTROL POLICY AND TAXATION To reduce the health and economic harm of tobacco use, Georgia implement...
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Apr
05

A Georgian Woman’s Burden: How Pandemic Affected Distribution of Household Work Between Men and Women, And Why It Matters.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and perceptions in many important ways: the value we put on face-to-face interactions, the importance of personal space, communication with loved ones, and much more. Some of these perceptions and social changes may actually outlive the pandemic. During the prolonged lockdown periods many people were suddenly confronted with the “hidden” side of their economic lives – the realities of unpaid care work. Unpaid care is something that people do daily to maintain their own and their family’s well-being: cooking, cl...
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Feb
08

To Prevent, to Repair, or to Start Over: Should Georgia Put ‘Maintenance’ Ahead of ‘Investment’ in Its Development Dictionary?

In a recent blog post, Y. Babych and L. Leruth raised several issues related to public infrastructure management in the city of Tbilisi. They observed that the consequences of poor past management practices were highly visible. But some of these consequences are also less visible or less immediate. Take schooling, for example. If the authorities fail to plan for the expected increase in the city’s population over the next few years and neglect to build an adequate number of kindergartens/pre-schools, the results will be overcrowded, fast decaying pre-sch...
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Oct
19

Sorry, You're Fired Due to COVID! Has COVID-19 Widened Gender Gap?

When the Georgian unemployment statistics for Quarter 2 (April, May, June) of 2020 came out, no one was surprised to see that the national unemployment rate, which had been falling steadily over the previous quarters, and even years, suddenly increased by 0.9 percentage points relative to the same quarter of 2019 (more precisely from 11.4% in Q2 2019 to 12.3% in Q2 2020). Perhaps we were more surprised by the fact that the unemployment rate did not go up more drastically in the midst of a strict lockdown, various travel restrictions, and quarantine measu...
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