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!


Jan Kmenta: Goals and Perseverance











“If you have a goal in life, then go for it.  Perseverance is the ideal.  This is what my mother taught me and what I tell my students,” says Jan Kmenta, emeritus professor of economics and statistics at the University of Michigan, and one of the world’s most respected econometricians.

Prof. Jan Kmenta has received the 2011 Neuron award for lifetime achievements in the field of economics. The annual Neutron awards were established by Nadacni fond Karla Janecka (NFKJ, Karel Janecek’s Endowment Fund) in 2010. There are two awards given annually – one to celebrate lifetime achievements and the other to for young researchers who decide to return from abroad to pursue their academic/research careers in the Czech Republic.

CERGE-EI has been extremely fortunate to have him as a visiting professor since 1992, an experience that has brought him full circle back to the country of his birth and the aspirations of his youth.

Continue reading Jan Kmenta: Goals and Perseverance


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.

Continue reading Jan Svejnar: Tapped By Destiny


CERGE-EI Alumni: Barbara Pertold-Gebicka

Barbara got her PhD from CERGE-EI in 2011 and she is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is married to her former classmate, with whom they met at CERGE-EI.

Why did you decide to study at CERGE-EI? What were your other options?

During my last year of master studies I started working in a consulting company. When designing a pricing strategy for our customer, I have realized that I miss econometric skills. So I looked for post-graduate studies in economics. Originally I was thinking about studying over weekends or attending an intensive summer school, but I changed my mind once I came across the PhD programs offered by CERGE-EI and the Central European University (CEU). I recalled my earlier dreams about a career in academia and applied to both places. CEU put me on a waiting list, but CERGE-EI invited me to the preparatory semester. So I came to Prague…

Continue reading CERGE-EI Alumni: Barbara Pertold-Gebicka


Going on Mobility, Becoming a Bartender

Before sending my previous blog post for editing, I read the final version and realized I had just finished writing a boring piece of text… Columbia this, Columbia that, Ivy league, Nobel prize winners, presidents, big shots and that kind of thing – all that you know from Wiki pages. I finally decided to write something more personal about mobility stay during the Spring semester, 2011 at Columbia University.
Continue reading Going on Mobility, Becoming a Bartender


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.
Continue reading Life Outside CERGE-EI: Water Sports in Czech Republic


First Year at CERGE-EI: Investment in the Rest of My Life

It began at the end of December 2009 when a CERGE-EI student came back to Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine – his hometown and mine – to give a presentation about CERGE-EI. I was intrigued by the opportunities that CERGE-EI was offering. I wanted to get an MA degree in economics from a foreign school, and then maybe a PhD. At my home university, Zaporizhzhya National Technical University, I would be receiving only a Specialist degree in International Economic Relations.

Continue reading First Year at CERGE-EI: Investment in the Rest of My Life


CERGE-EI in Media: Stepan Jurajda on Reforms in the Czech Republic

The following article first appeared on March 28th in the Prague daily newspaper, Lidove Noviny.  It was translated from Czech into English by Jan Novotny and edited by Stepan Jurajda.

It Is Better To Not Reform Than Implement a Bad Reform

March 28 2011

Reforms in the Czech Republic are poorly prepared and rarely fully completed and accomplished, said Stepan Jurajda, Director of CERGE-EI, which is devoted to economic research and doctoral studies. According to him, the country lacks an independent expert institution, where reform ideas as well as impacts would be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated.
Continue reading CERGE-EI in Media: Stepan Jurajda on Reforms in the Czech Republic


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