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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
15

The Post-COVID Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia: go clean, or don’t go!

Governments around the world are racing against the clock to help communities damaged by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Eager to bring good news to their constituents, they are brokering deals likely to bring employment and much needed international investments. Georgia, of course, is no exception. Recent FDI projects include a plastics processing plant with a stated capacity to employ 400 local workers in plastic waste recycling jobs and the associated sections of the supply chain. In crises years, creation of jobs via FDI sounds absolutely great. Bu...
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Jun
12

Playing Against the Odds: What’s at Stake for Georgia as It Bets on the Tourism Revival Strategy?

Georgia reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by immediately introducing aggressive measures. Closing international borders, declaring a state of emergency, shutting down public transportation, banning local travel and public gatherings, closing restaurants and shopping malls, and introducing a nighttime curfew—these are all instruments that were used by the country’s government and health authorities to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, the health system was not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. As of June 12th Georgia has had 837 confirmed corona...
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Mar
17

It’s Not Who You Trade With – It’s Who You Produce With: Measuring Georgia’s Integration into Global and Regional Value Chains

  GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS AND THE CHANGING NATURE OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE We live in the world where production of a single good typically involves manufacturing inputs from many different countries around the globe. For example, a typical iPhone production takes place in as many as 7 countries, including USA, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and even Switzerland. This is what is known to economists as global value chains (GVC). The emergence of GVC more than two decades ago transformed the way economists think about countries’ comparative advanta...
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May
27

Short-Term Swings of the Georgian Lari: A Guessing Game with High Stakes

In the last two weeks lari depreciated, once again, against the US dollar. Georgian currency lost about eight tetri against its American counterpart, causing quite a stir in the media, among political groups and economic experts. While government authorities claimed that the recent developments are short-term fluctuations driven by negative expectations, Turkish lira depreciation, dollar’s global strengthening, and are therefore not connected to the fundamentals of the Georgian economy, the members of opposition were quick to blame incompetent fiscal and...
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Mar
15

Equal Rights Are Not Just for Women: Are We Ready for New Paternity Leave Policies in Georgia?

The following blog article was conceived of within the deliberations of a project, together with UNFPA, related to the cost assessment of potential changes to the leave policies of working parents. Admittedly, like the majority of the population, I had no idea that men in Georgia have the opportunity to take leave intended for childcare. It is a fact that since 2011 the number of fathers who have taken “childcare” leave can be counted on just two hands (including the ISET Alumnus, Giorgi Balakhashvili). As a future father this topic proves to be particul...
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Oct
15

Georgia’s New Gold Rush: Or the Economic Prospects of Export of Medical Marijuana

  This article continues the theme of ISET Economist blog “Decriminalize Marijuana?” written by my colleague Saba Devdariani in June 2015, where he described the philosophical aspects related to marijuana state regulations and medical consequences of its consumption. RECENT CHANGES IN LEGISLATION Three years after the blog was published, regulation of cannabis became the hottest topic of discussion in the social-political life of Georgia. On July 30th 2018, the Constitutional Court de jure legalized personal consumption of marijuana by declaring tha...
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