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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
06

Should the World Sacrifice the Economy to Save Lives Today?

No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever been at war wrote American political commentator and author Thomas L. Friedman in 1996. Since then, of course, there have been plenty of instances of countries with McDonald’s warring, including Russia and Georgia. Though, one should not take Friedman’s phrase too literally. Rather he implies that the spread of McDonald's is a part of a worldwide phenomenon of countries integrating with the global economy, which, in turn, makes wars less likely. Well, Kudos to globalization. But also, thanks to globa...
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Mar
10

Belarusian Path to Transition: Lessons for Georgia?

“The lobby of the Metropole, Moscow's lovingly restored grand hotel a few blocks from Red Square, is almost deserted on this gray spring afternoon. That's just fine with Jeffrey D. Sachs, a boyish-looking 38-year-old Harvard professor who is now probably the most important economist in the world. He has appropriated a cluster of comfortable armchairs for a meeting with two members of his team, Americans who work full time in Russia. The agenda is Russia's safety net or, more precisely, whether unemployed workers will be able to make ends meet. Russia is ...
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Jan
10

The Paths Towards Inclusive Economic Growth in Georgia

INTRODUCTION1 The economic policies of successive Georgian governments have arguably lacked cohesive direction when it comes to inclusive growth. There still remains an open question of whether the overall goal has been to pull people from agriculture or to leave them where they are, while pushing productivity up via, for instance, funding the development of cooperatives or clusters. Concurrently, the state also has introduced industrial policies, like establishing SME support agencies that operate under the auspices of different ministries. Trying a lit...
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May
17

Chess Is to Play and Math Is for Life

  At times math teachers use a legend, “mathematics in the game of chess”, as an introduction to Exponential Functions. The original myth tells of a mathematician in India who invented the game of chess and was subsequently bestowed a vast reward for its creation. The king of India was so impressed by the game that he offered the mathematician to “name your reward!” The inventor responded, “My wish is simple. Just give me one grain of rice upon each square of the chessboard, such that one grain is placed on the first square, two on the second, four ...
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Apr
12

Red or Blue!

Have you ever wondered why the color of the United National Movement (UNM) is red while Georgian Dream (GD) is blue? Why not green and orange? It might be that red and blue offer a contrast, and they also symbolize quite different things.1 And, contrast is indeed what they each seek. These two parties have dominated Georgian politics since 2012, and it is now difficult to recall the subject they built a consensus around or even one that they have tried to discuss. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in its report on the 2018 ...
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