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Academic Excellence. Western Standards. International Character. Community Value Added. Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education and Economic s Institute (CERGE-EI) What is CERGE-EI?.

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Academic Excellence

Western Standards

International Character

Community Value Added

Center for Economic Research

and Graduate Education

and Economics Institute


What is CERGE-EI?
  • A joint academic workplace of Charles University and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (founded 1991)
  • Internationally-minded institution with academic staff from all over the world
  • Mission: modern economics for the post-communist bloc; identify possibly underprepared but gifted students, nourish and develop their talents (so they stay).
Main products

Basic research in economics (publications in international journals)

Ph.D. program in Economics

International Recognition

Absolute charter from the NYSED to award the PhD, MA, and MAE.

SSRN ranking: 58th out of 1,236 economics departments worldwide (top 5%) + ranked Top 10% in Europe in RePEc ranking.

Producing 70 (60) % of articles in top (2nd) IF tercile in economics in the Czech Rep.

“Center of Excellence in Economics Education and Research” (recognition by USAID)

Several FP6 and FP7 projects.

The Ph.D. program

Modern post-graduate training in economics

Curriculum follows the “U.S. model”

All instruction in English

International faculty with Ph.D.s from Chicago, Michigan, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, UCL, LSE…

Graduates Find Excellent Jobs

Western Universities: Northwestern (Kellog), UBC, Bonn, Arizona State, Georgia State, Tilburg, Copenhagen Business School, Zurich, Innsbruck,

International Organizations: IMF (5% of Ph.D.s!), EBRD, World Bank,…

Central banks (Czech, Canada, USA)

Consulting (McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte) and private financial institutions

Academic Buzz

Research Seminars in three fields (over 50 a year including 10 Nobel visitors so far!)

Brown Bag Seminars – students present their own work in an informal setting

Conferences hosted by CERGE-EI (SED, EALE, FMA, GDN, …)

In-house working paper series

Resources (for students)

Library: The largest collection of economics books, journals, data, and on-line resources in Central and Eastern Europe

Development of English language, writing, and presentation skills

Regular consultations with permanent faculty

Visiting faculty

Community Value Added

CNB Board – 1, NERV – 2

Policy analysis – IDEA project

Advising several ministries, TV/newspaper article

Active in grant agencies, scientific boards, …

SHARE data collection, European Employment Observatory, GDN, …

Seminars and Library open to public

Teaching Fellowships


A joint workplace of two legal entities:

CERGE of Charles University

Economics Institute of AVCR

External supervisory board (Stiglitz, Aghion, Sutton, Roland, Krueger, Svejnar, Shaked…):

key strategic decisions

service on dissertation workshops

approves hiring of new faculty

evaluates faculty and awards tenure

Quality Control - Internal

No inbreeding

Hiring new faculty on the international market for economists

Course evaluations

Plagiarism not tolerated

De-facto tenure system based primarily on publications

Regular evaluations, feedback on research (actually read the papers)

Quality Control - External

International competition (students and faculty)

NYSED charter evaluations

External board

Key factors behind the success

Clear and shared mission

Devotion to the mission and “good practices”

International background of faculty

External board

Starting from scratch helped

Start-up Western funding helped (but it’s gone)

Challenges ahead

“Coffee mill”:

Despite producing 70% (60%) of articles in top (second) IF tercile in economics in CZ, CERGE-EI share of “research output” in economics according to RVVI formula is only 16%.

Challenges ahead

Intensified competition from Western Europe (more generous stipends for PhD students)

Background of incoming students from many CEE universities still poor

Much of EU funding bypasses Prague

LC centers eliminated

Funding of PhD programs (“normatives”, stipends) does not reflect quality

Ph.D. program:

The 1st and 2nd Years

1st year: a common curriculum of Micro, Macro, Econometrics, and Academic Writing

2nd year: elective courses in specialized fields (Finance, Advanced Macro, Industrial Organization, International Trade, Public Economics, Advanced Econometrics, etc.) and Academic Writing

Research Methodology Seminar

M.A. Degree

Ph.D. Program:

The Dissertation Stage

Early 3rd year: students formulate and defend a dissertation proposal

3rd -5th years: work on the dissertation under regular guidance from their professors

Dissertation workshop (4th year) and final dissertation defense

The dissertation makes an original contribution to economics, comparable to articles in high-quality international journals

Financial Conditions

Tuition-free for almost all students

All students receive stipends ($500-$1000 depending on performance and year)

5 years of funding

Research and teaching assistantship requirements

Housing arrangements

Good work is rewarded