Opinion

The chart shows the density of Georgian farmers’revenues received from selling their produce, generated from the sample of 3,000 Georgian rural households. (For the motivation and methodology of our study, please refer to the article that was published here last week. It is also available online on the ISET Economist Blog: “Dumb Farmers Do Not Grow Big Potatoes”, by Florian Biermann and Ruediger Heining). 

The FINANCIAL -- Established almost eight years ago, ISET Policy Institute’s Khachapuri Index was inspired by the famous Big Mac Index of The Economist. The Big Mac Index ranks countries on the cost – translated into US dollars – of the Big Mac hamburger sold at local McDonald's restaurants. We rank Georgia’s major cities on the cost of cooking one portion of Imeretian Khachapuri. 

The FINANCIAL -- Sometimes, transformation requires a crisis. Economists in particular are very well aware of this maxim. We are reminded of it every time a country undergoes an economic shock. A country in those times is a bit like a patient who gets the last warning from a doctor to drop the unhealthy habits or face irreversible consequences.

The FINANCIAL -- The average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian Khachapuri stood at 3.61 GEL in January 2016. This is 4.3% lower m/m (compared to December 2015), and 6% higher y/y (compared to the same month of previous year, January 2015).Thus, annual inflation, as measured by ISET’s Khachapuri index, is roughly in line with the official estimate of 6%, based on GeoStat’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The FINANCIAL -- If you visit any post-Soviet country after spending some time in the West, one thing strikes you immediately: the average age of visible poverty. Not only are you more likely to see old people begging on the streets, but old people are also dressed more poorly, and tend to buy the cheapest things on the market. 

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