Category Archives: Special Events

Data-Driven Changemakers Datathon – looking back at the event

“Exciting, interesting, challenging….I’m in for the next event!”, said Louise Nebelsztein, Datathon participant, and thus summed up the feelings of the majority of  participants after the event. The weekend of 11-13 November was full of data analysis, hard work, late nights and interesting insights. Continue reading Data-Driven Changemakers Datathon – looking back at the event



Ten years ago, the Czech Academy of Sciences initiated a project whose principal goal was to popularize science among the general public. Besides educating high school teachers, the Open Science project was aimed at talented high school students by offering internships at selected scientific institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences.



A Night of Gaiety for 25 Years of Satisfaction: CERGE-EI 25th Anniversary Gala

On Friday the 27th of May the CERGE-EI community united once more to commemorate 25 years of world-class economics research and exceptional education. Filled with superb speeches, exquisite cuisine, musical performances, and dancing, this affair was no doubt a delightful occasion for all. Qatar, Spain or Canada, no matter where they reside now, alumni journeyed from near and far to reconnect and revive their student memories. Joined by local faculty, students and staff as well as visiting US members and supporters, all were summoned to take full advantage of the lambent halls of Schebek Palace with a charming spring evening at the 25th Anniversary Gala. Continue reading A Night of Gaiety for 25 Years of Satisfaction: CERGE-EI 25th Anniversary Gala


Not listening? Well, it’s only rational.

Inattention, why we’re all doing it, and why that’s rational – according to economics.

In the lead up to CERGE-EI’s unique conference on Rational Inattention, Associate Professor with Tenure and Researcher, Filip Matejka, provided a free crash course for students to get a rundown on the subject.

Fairly new to the scene and quickly evolving, the field of Rational Inattention in economics is, quite ironically, gaining attention. On Wednesday 24th of May, graduate students from around the globe, including Stanford, NYU, Columbia, UCLA and more, gathered in Prague to learn and discuss the core issues of the subject. Continue reading Not listening? Well, it’s only rational.


Perspectives on the European Economy: An Overview

On 24th of February CERGE-EI hosted a presentation, Perspectives on the European Economy, provided by the European Economic Advisory Group at CESifo. The conference explored a variety of hot topics that are examined in the EEAG Report on the European Economy 2016, which was released earlier in the week. The session included two co-authors of the report, John Driffill and Jan-Egbert Sturm, plus special guest, Kamil Galuščák of the Czech National Bank, and was chaired by Danial Münich of IDEA think-tank at CERGE-EI. Continue reading Perspectives on the European Economy: An Overview


Life after New Economic Talent: Interview with Salim Turdaliev

As we count down the days till The New Economic Talent 2016 deadline, we did a bit of reflecting on previous NET competitions. Last year, the top three of 138 submissions presented their thesis in Prague and a total of $1500 USD was awarded to winners. But the benefits of the competition go beyond just money and travel; we caught up with past NET finalist, Salim Turdaliev, to gain a fresh insight into the contest and his life in academia today. Continue reading Life after New Economic Talent: Interview with Salim Turdaliev


Stupid Voters or Stupid Economists?

Observers of the recent Greek referendum, the vote on Scottish independence or the U.S. presidential campaign know that voters often vote based on their emotions rather than on rational thinking. I suggest that this is in large part because professional economists are failing to serve the public well. And as economists, if we want rational outcomes, then we need to redouble our efforts to build economic literacy.

America’s national cynic, H. L. Mencken once said, “When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas…men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion.”

It’s easy to be cynical about democracy, but economists may have a different take on why voters largely vote with their emotions instead of their intellect.  It is not that voters can’t or don’t want to make sensible policy choices – rather, it is that they have little incentive to do so. Continue reading Stupid Voters or Stupid Economists?


The light and dark sides of the shadow economy


It’s not often you get the chance to sit in a room with a collection of today’s most influential minds and hear their thoughts and opinions on current global issues. But that’s what I was able to do this week at a panel discussion in London organized by CERGE-EI Alumni with the Legatum Institute and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “The Shadow Economy – Impact on Innovation, East and West” was moderated by Edward Lucas, senior editor at The Economist, with contributions from Andrei Kirilenko (MIT), Peter Sanfey (EBRD), Tina Fordham (Citibank), Giles Andrews (Zopa) and CERGE-EI’s own Jan Švejnar. Continue reading The light and dark sides of the shadow economy


Corruption Fighters: A CERGE-EI Special Panel Discussion On Anticorruption Measures And Lessons Learned

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Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. An endemic problem across the developed and developing world, corruption poses a major challenge to policy makers and governments worried about maintaining legitimacy.

So how do we fight corruption? The answer is far from clear. As David Ondracka notes, you close one hole only to discover that two new ones have opened.

That’s why on Thursday, November 21st,  leaders of government, civil society, and the private sector came together at CERGE-EI to discuss innovative anti-corruption solutions and lessons learned.

See the speakers and watch the full event (including lecture slides) in the link below!:

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Economic Elites, Crises, and Democracy: A Book Presentation by Andrés Solimano

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In his new book, ‘Economic Elites, Crises, and Democracy,’ Andrés Solimano thoughtfully examines the main challenges to global capitalism, including the rise of economic elites, the increased frequency of financial crises, and rising public discontent with the status-quo.

During his CERGE-EI visit on November 19th, Professor Solimano presented data showing the rise of rich economic elites and the fragmentation of the middle class. He warned that these trends, combined with the weakening of the traditional working class and marginalization of labor, are a common feature of capitalist societies all over the world and together constitute a major threat to the stability of the system.

He also noted that financial crises have increased markedly since the 1980s, and have recently reached the ‘core’ economies of the world system. All this has led to fractionalization and public disenchantment with democracy, which manifests in social protests and the rise of extreme politics.

Solimano forcefully  argued that these trends threaten to undermine the global capitalist system unless new approaches are adopted in order to solve the world’s acute social problems. He briefly discussed potential approaches, including redistributional tax policies, reclaiming and redefining public ownership, and giving labor and the middle class more voice in austerity programs.

Given the brief time available, Professor Salimano could not go into great detail about such an ambitious topic. Lucky for us, the detailed information can be found in his book, which is available for purchase here!

Solimano book cover