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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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
05

COVID-19 Strikes Again: How the Pandemic is Affecting Georgia’s Energy Security

  Many of us well-remember the cold winter of 2006 when the Russian Federation cut its natural gas supply to Georgia. In general, it is clear that diversification in energy import markets reduces the risk of socio-economic shocks following political tensions with other countries. Fortunately, Georgia managed to find an alternative to the Russian supply and started importing gas from Azerbaijan. This blog will review the current gas import situation and discuss the expected trends in natural gas supply security. As Yergin (2006) notes, the primary fa...
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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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Guest — DavidLee
Georgia has received a great deal of positive PR in Europe and around the World for its highly effective response to the pandemic.... Read More
Friday, 14 August 2020 8:08 AM
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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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Guest — PeterJ
Interesting article, but just as a side note, can you please indicate the source for this: Furthermore, tourists visiting Georgia ... Read More
Friday, 12 June 2020 1:01 PM
Giorgi Mzhavanadze
Dear Peter, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that (as I know) there is no official document which indicates that entry re... Read More
Monday, 15 June 2020 7:07 AM
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Jun
10

Could the Government Act as Coordinator?

In Avchala, in the middle of nowhere, you might be surprised to find the busy “Craftsmen’s City” or “Khelosnebis Kalaki” as it is called in Georgian. It is built on a 4-ha plot where there used to be a large carpet manufacturing plant in Soviet times, which vanished with the Soviet Union and turned into a concrete carcass surrounded by a swamp. Luckily, ten years ago, a man called Irakli bought this territory with the intention of renting it out1 — though it was not an easy task! At a minimum, Irakli had to provide basic conditions for people to mov...
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Guest — Matt
I enjoyed reading this piece: the narrative was compelling, the idea explained well and it was short enough to enjoy. Creating clu... Read More
Friday, 12 June 2020 8:08 AM
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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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