Blog Posts

<a href="">The Roots of Education are Bitter… is its Fruit all that Sweet?</a>

- 27 June 2014

The Roots of Education are Bitter… is its Fruit all that Sweet?

In his famous “Advice to Scholars”, David Guramishvili wrote (translation by Venera Urushadze): If you seek happiness and good, First taste the bitterness of gall, For bitter roots yield sweetest fruits, And honest labour blesses all. Guramishvili is a passionate advocate of learning not as...

<a href="">On Soviet Science</a>

- 23 June 2014

On Soviet Science

As an active chess player, many of my Georgian acquaintances happen to be old men, and among them are several former Soviet scientists: physicists, mathematicians, statisticians, and engineers. Ever since I am living in Tbilisi, they like to pull my leg regarding my scientific achievements....

<a href="">Why Care About Informal Employment?</a>

- 20 June 2014

Why Care About Informal Employment?

Before answering this question, let us define what economists usually mean with ”informal employment”. There is some confusion with this term, and sometimes it is improperly used as a synonym for tax evasion or illegality. ILO defines informal employment as: employment “consisting of units engaged...

<a href="">Georgia – A Country Between Poland and Korea</a>

- 16 June 2014

Georgia – A Country Between Poland and Korea

In the first part of this article (available also on the homepage of The Financial), I described some of the adverse incentives resulting from a social welfare system. Then I argued that according to Simon Kuznet’s famous paradigm, increasing inequality is hardly evitable when a...

<a href="">The Economics of Prostitution</a>

- 13 June 2014

The Economics of Prostitution

When thinking of “market distortions” we typically imagine government regulations, taxes and subsidies that prevent market mechanisms from achieving an optimal outcome. For example, if you pay $100 for a 30-minute taxi ride (as is the case in many European capitals), you can easily relate...

<a href="">Redistribution Versus Growth: Georgia at the Crossroads</a>

- 09 June 2014

Redistribution Versus Growth: Georgia at the Crossroads

One day in my village, I saw our neighbors carrying TV sets, refrigerators, parabolic antennas, and washing machines out of their house. Soon I found out that they were hiding all that stuff from the Social Service Agency (SSA) that was about to check eligibility...

<a href="">Georgia Caught Between the Russian Rock and the EU Hard Place</a>

- 06 June 2014

Georgia Caught Between the Russian Rock and the EU Hard Place

“I’m Georgian, and therefore I am European.” These were the words late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania chose to express Georgia’s EU aspirations when speaking in front of the Council of Europe in 1999. Reading very much like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”,...

<a href="">Pawnshop Mentality</a>

- 02 June 2014

Pawnshop Mentality

“Jewelry you can pawn whenever you encounter financial difficulties”, we were told by a friend. In our circles of acquaintances there are quite a number of people who enjoy the services of pawnshops. The reasons range from renovating apartments, paying tuition for children, and buying...

<a href="">Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them and When They are Successful</a>

- 30 May 2014

Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them and When They are Successful

There are many reasons to love the concept of farmer cooperation (and cooperation more generally). To begin with, there is a great aesthetic value in seeing people coming together, sharing resources and helping each other. After all, instinctive collectivism was the basic condition of human...

<a href=""> Discrimination in Georgia</a>

- 26 May 2014

Discrimination in Georgia

On May 2, 2014, the Georgian parliament unanimously passed the law on the elimination of any form of discrimination. The stated objective of the law is to ensure that any physical or legal entity equally benefits from all rights defined by Georgian legislation, irrespective of...

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