On 17th of January, the Government of Georgia approved the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Methodology. This is an incredible step towards evidence-based policy making that will contribute to the country’s economic development and future prosperity. The ISET Policy Institute is very proud that three of our experts – Professor Norberto Pignatti, Levan Pavlenishvili and Maka Chitanava – have been involved in the preparatory process for the methodology, and assisted the Ministry of Justice as local RIA experts. This was part of a joint donor effort which involved the participation of the USAID Good Governance Initiative (GGI) program, G4G, GIZ, the EU-funded project Support to the Public Administration Reform in Georgia, and the World Bank. The ISET Policy Institute participated in this process in the scope of its Good Governance Initiative (GGI) program, a project carried out with USAID.

On January 15, ISET had the privilege to host a living economic legend when Professor Erik S. Reinert visited the institute to participate in the Georgian-language launch of his book, How Rich Countries Got Rich, and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor. His work, which was originally published in 2007, has now been published in over twenty languages, and remains one of the most widely-discussed economic works of recent years.

The main message of the book is that neo-classical economics damage developing countries, mostly via adherence to the theory of comparative advantage of David Ricardo, an English economist of the XIX century. The theory posits the virtues of trade irrespective of the nature of the goods traded. Based on a long intellectual tradition started by the Italian economists Giovanni Botero and Antonio Serra, Professor Reinert stated that the country which trades increasing returns goods – e.g. high-end manufacture – has advantages over the country which trades diminishing returns goods – e.g. commodities.

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