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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
16

Tbilisi: a Growing City with Growing Needs

  Until 2014, the population of Tbilisi remained more or less constant, even slightly decreasing at the same rate as the population of the country as a whole. Since 2014, though, there has been a marked migration to the capital as seen in the graph below. A similar trend is observed all over the world.  On average, a little over half of the global population currently lives in cities and, according to a recent report by the UN, that figure is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050.1 Georgia is almost there: taken together, the country’s 7 l...
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Nov
09

Tbilisi Central Park Project – Call for More Green Space in the City

Pressure on environmental conditions has been increasing over the years in Tbilisi due to several factors: • Population increase – according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat), the capital’s population has increased by 8% over the last ten years; • Tbilisi is the center of Georgian business operations – GeoStat reveals that, by January 2020, 42% of economically active organizations were located in Tbilisi; • These two factors are strongly associated with high levels of activity in the construction sector – according to GeoStat, 48% of...
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Nov
02

The Inflation Targeting Framework of the National Bank of Georgia: Is It the Right Model?

As the Georgian Lari (GEL) briefly depreciated in September 2020, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) once again became the subject of criticism for not being able to stabilize the exchange rate even though it had injected 120 million US$ in the economy. At a press conference (2020/09/16), the President of the NBG objected that the aim of the injection of US$ was not to strengthen the GEL since the NBG operated under a floating exchange rate policy. Rather, he went on to explain, the NBG’s constitutional duty was to ensure price stability on the basis of ...
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Oct
26

Right or Left: What Are Political Parties’ Economic Visions?

Last week Georgians took part in largely proportional parliamentary elections. Dozens of parties were registered as election contestants. To what extent do their visions coincide with yours in different important areas of public policy? You can get a detailed answer to these questions on the digital platform "Election Compass Georgia". According to a recent public opinion poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), for 72 percent of the population, one of the two most important components of a political party's election program is the...
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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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Oct
12

To Subsidize or Not to Subsidize Georgia’s Wine Sector?

“Rtveli 2020” – a traditional vintage and rural harvest holiday in Georgia accompanied by feasts, musical events and other celebrations started on August 26. This year, the Government of Georgia (GoG) is subsidizing the grape harvest to support growers in selling their products. 0.3 GEL of the total 0.8 GEL per kg of Rkatsiteli or Kakhuri Mtsvane is subsidized. In the case of extreme necessity, the GoG will be involved in the purchase of grapes as well. Supporting the wine sector is part of the anti-crisis plan to handle the economic challenges caused by...
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