Graduation Gala: Speech from CERGE-EI PhD Student Dragana Stanišić

Good evening. My name is Dragana and I am from Serbia. I am a PhD candidate at CERGE-EI, and hopefully in June next year I will be celebrating my graduation.

I would like to briefly describe to you how studying at CERGE can change your life.

The opportunities that education at CERGE-EI offers to students are not so obvious during sleepless nights before general exams, in dorm room with cans of food and tons of coffee.

Rather, the realizations of how CERGE-EI changes your life strike unexpectedly.  In my case that was a moment when I was updating my CV.

The “Work Experience” section of my CV has two consecutive lines that some might find very confusing. The first line describes my job just after undergraduate school, before I was a student at CERGE-EI. I was working in a Serbian bank, and its offices were in the outskirts of the town Novi Sad in Serbia.  The street was so out of town that even the buildings in that street were not numbered.

Just underneath that CV entry, in the next line, I listed my following work experience. This was from the offices that were located at 1st Avenue and 42nd Street in NYC, at the United Nations Headquarters, where I went for internship after second year general exams.

The factor that made this possible was my decision to enroll in the PhD program at CERGE-EI.  In addition, just a few years back if someone had told me I would spend a semester at Columbia University or do research projects at Princeton, I would never have believed them.  And this is not only my case; my colleagues consistently have a chance to meet their equals at world leading universities.

At events like this Graduation Gala, students have a chance to meet with friends and supporters of CERGE-EI. You all believe that offering us a free access to world class education will make a difference. Well from where I am standing, it certainly does.

This idea stays with CERGE-EI graduates and I am convinced that in future we will do the same for new generations, here and in other parts of the world.

Thank you very much, and I hope you will have a great time tonight!


The 1st Annual Graduation Gala: A Wonderful Night to Reunite the CERGE-EI Community

On any given day, CERGE-EI is filled with serious people conducting economic research and studying for exams. When it comes to complicated calculus and datasets, CERGE-EI is among the best. But when it comes to throwing a good party, we have a bit less experience. Nevertheless, the Graduation Gala proved that CERGE-EI knows how to do that too!  On the evening of June 1st, our beautiful palace rooms, usually the location of lectures and exams, were filled with fun and celebration previously unknown here!

All who attended will agree: the 1st Annual Graduation Gala at CERGE-EI was an unbridled success. We welcomed over 160 guests—students, alumni, faculty and staff, the members of our governing bodies, as well as our donors and other business guests. It was an amazing evening filled with speeches, live music, gourmet food, and dancing.

The Gala started with a champagne reception accompanied by a live jazz quartet. Dressed in their best suits and dresses, most guests were eager to have their ‘celebrity photo’ on the red carpet at the top of CERGE-EI’s regal marble stairwell. An audience gathered to hear welcome speeches by Susan Walton (CERGE-EI Foundation Board member) and Jan Švejnar (a ‘Founding Father’ of CERGE-EI and Chairman of the ESC). Before dinner, guests also heard remarks by CERGE-EI alum Martin Kálovec and recent PhD graduate  Peter Ondko.

After an elegant dinner, the Gala continued with remarks by J. Peter Neary (Professor of Economics at University of Oxford and a newly-elected ESC member at CERGE-EI), a touching speech by Dragana Stanišić (CERGE-EI Junior Researcher), and a ballroom dance performance by a professional dance pair. A ‘Surprise Student Raffle’ followed, awarding fun prizes to CERGE-EI students, including boat rides and tennis matches with CERGE-EI faculty members.

The mood shifted from elegance to revelry as the hours passed. With the live band bringing up the energy, everyone was eager to show off their dance moves under the chandeliers and frescoes in the main ballroom. The band eventually had to go home, but an energetic DJ jumped in without missing a beat and kept the music and dancing going until the late hours of the night.

The Graduation Gala establishes a new tradition at CERGE-EI. Once a year, the students, faculty, staff, alumni and affiliates who make CERGE-EI such a successful place deserve a night like this. With each passing year, our Graduation Galas will offer the best opportunity for the CERGE-EI community to reunite and celebrate. Looking forward to next year!

See more pictures from the First Annual Graduation Gala here!


The Challenges and Achievements of Labor Economics: An Interview with Professor Hank Farber (Princeton)

Henry Farber (Princeton University) is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Economics and an Associate of the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University. As an active member of CERGE-EI’s Executive and Supervisory Committee (ESC), he recently visited us in Prague.

In addition to his faculty position at Princeton, Prof. Farber is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).  He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Society of Labor Economists, and the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Prof. Farber’s current research interests include unemployment, liquidity constraints and labor supply, labor unions, worker mobility, wage dynamics, and analysis of the litigation process.

While at CERGE-EI, he sat down with 1st year PhD student Katka Kobylinski to discuss some of his research and policy ideas. Katka questioned him about the the challenges and achievements of labor economics. She also asked him for his thoughts about labor policy and austerity in US and Europe today, as well as his views about CERGE-EI and its evolution.

Check out the full interview in HD here!:


Economics in the Lab: An Interview with Dr. Peter Katuščák, CERGE-EI Assistant Professor

After presenting his recent working paper, ‘Does Anticipated Regret Really Matter? Revisiting the Role of Feedback in Auction Bidding’, Dr. Peter Katuščák (CERGE-EI Assistant Professor) sat down for an interview with PhD student Liyou G. Borga. In their conversation, Dr. Katuščák discusses his recent paper and other research projects, his view on the efficacy of experimental economics, and several other topics. As an adviser to CERGE-EI students, he also shares his advice about choosing a research topic. Check it out in HD!