Category Archives: general

“Ruka Juu” with Dr. Bertil Tungodden — Does Media Appeal to the Entrepreneur in Us?

We usually speak about television in negative terms. But can television inspire development? On Monday, the CERGE-EI community went on an intellectual journey to Tanzania through the illustrative seminar presented by Professor Bertil Tungodden (Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway).  Seminar participants were treated to an in-depth analysis of a randomized field experiment designed to see if entrepreneurial skills and attitudes can be communicated through television programming.

The experiment was based on an ‘edutainment’ show called Ruka Juu (Swahili for “jump-up”), a televised reality-based entrepreneurship competition. It aired on national television in Tanzania in the spring of 2011. The overall aim of Ruka Juu was to educate, inform and motivate Tanzanian youth (aged 15-30) on issues related to entrepreneurship, business skills and financial literacy.

Professor Tungodden and his co-authors wanted to see if the program was making real impacts in educating and inspiring the Tanzanian people. They decided to document how the show was influencing key ‘entrepreneurial variables’ in the population, such as ambitions, knowledge, risk-taking, patience, and willingness to compete.

The engaged seminar participants learned how the authors faced the daunting task of designing a field experiment able to identify the impact of a nationally broadcasted program; particularly the challenge of establishing a proper “control group.” The trick was to randomly select some schools and incentivize this “treatment group” to watch the edutainment show; meanwhile they incentivized a control group to watch a classic soap opera instead. Frequent power outages and lack of television sets were some of the obstacles they faced. However they eventually arrived at notable results, finding strong evidence that ‘edutainment’ both inspired the viewers to learn more about entrepreneurship and motivated them to start their own business.

The experiment also leads the authors to conclude that the impact of edutainment on business knowledge is much weaker. In sum, their results suggest that the media may be a very powerful tool to foster entrepreneurship among young people, but also points to limitations of edutainment as a tool to communicate business knowledge.

Edutainment needs to be supplemented with other efforts to increase business knowledge and skills. But overall, Dr. Tungodden’s lecture at CERGE-EI made a convincing argument: media encouragement and educational television programming can be used to inspire young Tanzanians to realize their potential. Finally something good on TV!

Author: Liyousew G. Borga, 2nd Year PhD Student

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CERGE-EI Blog Is Back!

ATTENTION: The CERGE-EI blog has been roused from its slumber! After a temporary hiatus, the blog is gearing back into action with lots of new content. Stay tuned in the coming weeks and months for interesting updates and stories. We are particularly excited about a new series of content highlighting the visits of prestigious guests and lecturers at CERGE-EI. Keep checking back in!

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Jan Svejnar: Tapped By Destiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard not to believe in destiny if you are Jan Svejnar.  As a student in his last year of high-school and the son of a pro-reform Czech economist at the ILO in Geneva during the Dubcek period, Jan fled Czechoslovakia in1970 with his guitar, his skis and his 13-year-old sister, one step ahead of the police who were about to revoke his exit visa. Eighteen years later in1988, after a Cornell BA and Princeton PhD, a chance encounter with a Czech researcher at a conference in Vienna would  again profoundly alter the life of Jan Svejnar, then a professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Life Outside CERGE-EI: Water Sports in Czech Republic

Czech rivers offer a number of opportunities for water-sport fans for self-realization. One can find stretches of the rivers of all difficulties, starting from calm rivers for beginners to world most difficult water slalom stretch of Moldau river called Devil’s currents located close to water dam called Lipno. That is why water sports are very popular in Czech Republic and therefor I would like to dedicate this sport blog to water sports, such as kayaking, rafting and canoeing. I will introduce rivers Moldau (Vltava), Luznice, Berounka and Sazava as they are the four most attractive rivers to visit. Nonetheless, the actual number of possible trips ranges beyond rivers mentioned here.
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Under Angel’s Protection: Welcome to CERGE-EI Building

With no doubts, the environment is a very important element of our life. Culture we grow in shapes us as personalities. People we interact with may cardinally change our vision of the world. It would not be a surprise for you to learn that even the difference in climates can partially explain why Italians are so different from Swedes. But does the spirit of the building we work in matter? Let’s hope it does as the CERGE-EI building is associated with Angels.
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Call for Candidates: CERGE-EI Student Representatives

CERGE-EI announces a call for candidates for three Student Representative positions. Applications should be made no later than Sunday, March 13 by email, which should include your name and year of study, to the following email address:

Student.Representatives@cerge-ei.cz

Student Representative facilitate dialogue between the CERGE-EI administration and students, help students with dormitory, stipend, and other issues, take part in the organization of DPW, DW and other official events. Representatives are eligible for office space and the positions are equivalent to 12 hours’ worth of stipend assistantship.

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