The Reason Why

"CERGE-EI has had a transformative effect on teaching and learning about economics. If we had another five such organizations in equally key parts of the world, the prospects for global economic theory, empirics and policy would be greatly enhanced."

Simon Johnson, Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, former Economic Counselor and Director of Research, International Monetary Fund

Importance in the Region and for the World

CERGE-EI is meeting a critical shortage and, by doing so, is helping to ensure that the emerging economies of  the region remain on the path towards economic and personal freedom.

CERGE-EI is promoting economic growth, reform, and stability in turbulent regions such as the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East through its well-trained graduates and its policy-oriented research. Such growth is in the long-run strategic interest of the free world.

CERGE-EI and its graduates are already aiding the development of markets offering significant profit opportunities for international businesses in the former Soviet Union, Central Asia and other developing countries, a vast region with over 400,000,000 inhabitants.

Success in Filling the Need

Founded in 1991 as a result of the Velvet Revolution, CERGE-EI is the first and most significant Ph.D. program in economics serving the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

CERGE-EI's mission is three-fold:

  • To train economists for government, academia, and industry in a region where such skills are critically lacking
  • To promote research in theoretical and applied policy-related economics, especially with respect to the transition from communism to free markets
  • To introduce the American ideals of free and open inquiry and nondiscriminatory training into a region where such concepts were repressed for 50 years

Over 700 students from Central and Eastern Europe have directly studied market economics at CERGE-EI. Women comprise nearly half the student body. Thousands more students and economists have benefited from peripheral programs.

Graduates are serving in influential positions in the IMF, World Bank, EBRD, OECD, ILP, regional Central Banks and Ministries, universities, and the private sector. Approximately 25% of CERGE-EI graduates are university teachers, nearly 40% serve in Ministries, Central Banks, and international NGOs, while most of the remainder are working to develop the region's private sector.

Over 80% of all CERGE-EI graduates remain in the region or deal with the region in their work for international organizations, in contrast with the 5% of Central and Eastern Europeans who return to the region after receiving a Ph.D. in economics in recent years from leading American programs.

"CERGE-EI has established itself as one of the leading institutions for research and graduate teaching in Central Europe. With a highly motivated international faculty and students from across the transition region it is an important source of talent and analysis for government, business and universities in the region and for international organisations like the EBRD."

Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist and Special Adviser to the President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

World-Class Academics and Research

CERGE-EI offers degrees granted through an absolute charter by the New York State Board of Regents, whose site visit report said, "The program is demanding, innovative and responsive to the special needs of Central and Eastern Europe... It fills an important and singular niche," and fully accredited under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports of the Czech Republic.

The European Community Secretariat of the ACE Program designated CERGE as the only 'Recognized Centre of Excellence in Ph.D. Studies in Economics' in Central and Eastern Europe. CERGE-EI has also been designated as a "Center of Excellence" by USAID.

Academic oversight is provided by an external committee of world-class scholars.

Fiscal Responsibility and Cost-Effectiveness

CERGE-EI gives world-class training in modern market economics for less than a third of the cost per student of comparable programs in the U.S.

All donated funds go directly to further CERGE-EI's educational mission. CERGE-EI's supporting foundations' costs are completely covered by income-producing programs which they also administer. 

Donations made to the CERGE-EI Foundation, an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, are completely tax-deductible in the U.S. Nadace CERGE-EI offers full deductibility to donors as allowed by Czech and EU law.

CERGE-EI has established sound financial management. The CERGE-EI Foundation board includes distinguished business leaders from the U.S. & EU. Nadace CERGE-EI is a registered charity in the Czech Republic.