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Georgia: The Underground Economy
Country Study > Chapter 6 > The Economy > The Underground Economy


Economic statistics for Georgia are difficult to evaluate for both the Soviet era and the post-Soviet period, primarily because of the country's large underground economy. Traditional Georgian familial and clan relations have intensified the economic corruption that infused the entire communist system. Local elites in the communist party joined with underground speculators and entrepreneurs to form an economic mafia. Repeated efforts to eradicate this phenomenon, including an aggressive effort by Shevardnadze in the early 1970s, apparently had little impact. In the postcommunist period, struggles for economic control among competing mafias have been an important part of the political conflict plaguing Georgia.

Data as of March 1994

Last Updated: March 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Georgia was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 53 of 102


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