About

Welcome to CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute), a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, a unique partnership designed to promote modern education and research in economics located in a beautiful Central European metropolis – Prague.

CERGE-EI offers Western-style, US-chartered, graduate economics education – PhD in Economics, Master in Economic Research and MA in Applied Economics. Despite its small scale, CERGE-EI has achieved global impact and reputation by producing frontier economics research. We share economics know-how and expertise by hosting public lectures and seminars and by opening our premier economics library to the general public. We warmly welcome all fans of academic and policy-oriented economics to join our community. 

 

Mission

"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 economics theory, empirics and policy would be greatly enhanced..."

Simon Johnson, Professor, MIT; Former Director of Research, IMF

CERGE-EI's mission:

  • Build a recognized center of excellence and innovation in economics research and education.
  • Expand the pool of elite economists in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond to serve the public interest.
  • Produce and disseminate policy oriented economics research.

 

History

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Central and Eastern Europe was a center of economic thought. Pioneers including Joseph Schumpeter (born in Třešť, in what is today the Czech Republic), Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (Brno, Czech Republic), Ludwig von Mises (Lviv, Ukraine), Carl Menger (Nowy Sącz, Poland), Etienne Laspeyres (Riga, Latvia), and Friedrich Hayek (Vienna, Austria) helped establish the modern scientific paradigm in the field. In the years immediately prior to the Second World War, the Czechoslovak economist Karel Engliš not only contributed to the understanding of the laws of market economics, but applied this knowledge as Czechoslovak Minister of Finance and Rector of Charles University.

After communist domination became ascendant in the region, “economics” as it had been generally known almost died out completely in practice and as a field of study. Exceptions such as János Kornai in Budapest, or the rare Czechoslovak economist who was able to visit the West during Prague Spring in 1967 and 1968 were few and far between. The study of modern economics was kept alive by a few dedicated individuals who organized underground seminars in secret, often at great personal risk. One group at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences managed to obtain a single subscription to the Journal of Political Economy. Every three months when the new issue arrived, they would carefully separate it, with each member responsible for teaching the others the content of one article. Out of this group came members of the first post-communist Czechoslovak government (including the Finance Minister, the Central Bank Governor and the Minister of Trade and Industry) and one of the founders of CERGE-EI.

Origins of CERGE and EI

Realizing that there was a critical need for both economics professors and policy makers, Josef Zieleniec, the member of the Academy of Sciences group who did not immediately enter government, was tasked with how to train a new generation of economists. Together with Czech émigré Jan Švejnar, then a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, whom he had met at a conference two years prior, Dr. Zieleniec saw immediately that sending students to the US or Western Europe for graduate study was likely to lead to talent leaving the region and, therefore, that it was essential to rapidly establish world-class educational capacity within Central Europe.

In 1990, a core group of funders including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, USAID and the Pew Charitable Trusts had agreed to support a doctoral program at Charles University provided it served not only Czechoslovakia, but the entire transition region. Implementation took an additional year. With the active support of Charles University Rector Radim Palouš, by September 1991 CERGE, the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education, enrolled its first 12 students, from 7 countries.

In 1992, the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences closed both its Institute of Economics and its Institute of Forecasting, creating in their stead a modern economic research institution, called Národohospodářský ústav (NHÚ) in Czech and the Economics Institute (EI) in English, to carry out scholarly work at the highest international standards.

Merging CERGE and EI

CERGE and EI shared overlapping goals and interests. When they began working as partners in 1993, the effectiveness of combining education and research, a concept new to the region, was immediately apparent. In 1999, CERGE-EI was officially recognized as a Joint Workplace of Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Growth and Influence

With its strategic location in historic Prague, the heart of Europe, CERGE-EI continues to be recognized as a regional center of excellence in graduate education and research. It has a proven track record of attracting high-quality researchers, faculty and students concerned with the impact of the social, economic and political transition on the CEE/fSU region. (View CERGE-EI's Research Rankings for more information.)

CERGE-EI awarded its first PhD in 1995 to Jacek Cukrowski of Poland, and its 100th to Asel Isakova of Kyrgystan in January 2010. View our Alumni Placements and Alumni Profiles pages for more information.

As a further indication of overall academic quality, CERGE-EI's PhD in Economics was granted an absolute charter by the New York State Department of Education Board of Regents in 2005 and is fully accredited in the Czech Republic by the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports, enabling it to grant both US and Czech degrees

The professional success of CERGE-EI's graduates and the world-class quality of its research attest to its creative environment of intellectual curiosity and scientific rigor. CERGE-EI has won numerous accolades from US governmental institutions, the European Commission, international grant agencies, and research organizations. In 1992 and 1994, the European Community Secretariat of the ACE Programme designated CERGE-EI the only “Recognized Centre of Excellence in Ph.D. Studies in Economics” in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1993 and 1994, CERGE-EI was recognized as a Center of Excellence in Economics Education and Research by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

 

Data Protection

Preface

CERGE-EI is a joint workplace of CERGE – a university institute of Charles University – and the Economics Institute (EI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences – a public research institution. For CERGE, data protection falls fully under Charles University which has its Data Protection manifest available at https://www.cuni.cz/UK-9056.html (in Czech language). The Data Protection manifest of the Economics Institute is available at http://www.ei.cas.cz/o-nas/ochrana-osobnich-udaju (in Czech language). Under the CERGE-EI umbrella, CERGE and EI share the key principles of data protection described below.

GDPR instructions & documents & knowledgebase for CERGE-EI employees and students

Data Controllers

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR") and Czech laws related to data protection (the "Data Protection Laws" in general), we are Data Controllers as we determine the purposes for which, and the manner in which, any personal data is, or is likely to be, processed.

Specifically, the administrators of personal data are Univerzita Karlova, registered at Ovocný trh 560/5, 116 36 Praha 1, IČO: 00216208 (for CERGE); and Národohospodářský ústav AV ČR, v. v. i., registered at Politických vězňů 936/7, 111 21 Praha 1, IČO: 67985998 (for EI).

Data processing principles

In order to comply with our contractual, statutory, and management obligations and responsibilities, we need to process personal data relating to our employees and students, including ‘sensitive’ or ‘special’ categories of personal data, as defined in the GDPR. All personal data will be processed in accordance with the GDPR. 

The term ‘processing’ refers to all actions related to the handling of personal data and therefore includes collection, the holding and use of such data, as well as access and disclosure, through to final destruction. Staff should be aware that in certain circumstances, the GDPR permit us to process an employee’s personal data, and, in certain circumstances, sensitive personal data, without their explicit consent.

We will handle your personal data in accordance with the principles set out below:

Lawfulness, fairness and transparency (data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject); purpose limitation (data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes); data minimisation (data processing shall be limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed); accuracy (data shall be kept accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date); integrity and confidentiality (data shall be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures).

The Data Protection Laws require us to take reasonable steps to ensure that any personal data we process is accurate and up-to-date. Employees are responsible for informing us of any changes to the personal data that they have supplied during the course of their employment.

We do not use automated processing and decision making without manual intervention.

Purpose of processing

In fulfilling our mission, we process personal data for the following purposes:

  • To enable us to provide education and support services to our students and staff.
  • Undertaking research and fundraising.
  • Advertising and promoting CERGE and EI and the services we offer.
  • Publication of newsletters and alumni relations.
  • To provide access to relevant systems to undertake staff, supervisory, executive and other roles.
  • To fulfil our obligations for the contract of employment.
  • Processing recruitment applications.
  • Talent, performance and succession planning.
  • Paying and reviewing salary and other remuneration and benefits.
  • Internal audit and data collection.
  • Ensuring IT infrastructure compliance, reliability and systems protection. 
  • Use of CCTV systems to monitor and collect visual images for the purposes of security and the prevention and detection of crime
  • Ensuring legalities of employment contracts and relationships.
  • Maintaining sickness and other absence records.
  • Providing references and information to future employers and, if necessary, governmental bodies.
  • Processing information regarding equality of opportunity and treatment of data subjects in line with the monitoring of equal opportunities and access.
 

The information we process may be held on our institutional systems some of which may be owned and operated by third parties.  Where we engage with such third parties, we insist upon strict contractual requirements to be adhered to by them to protect the personal data.

Legal basis

 

Data Protection Laws require that we meet certain conditions before we are allowed to use your data in the manner described in this notice, including having a 'legal basis' for the processing. The legal bases on which your personal data are collected or processed:

  • is necessary to comply with a legal obligation of the data controller;
  • is necessary for carrying out or entering into a contract with the data subject;
  • is necessary to protect someone’s vital interests;
  • has been consented to by the data subject;
  • is necessary for the public interest or in the exercise of official authority; or
  • is necessary for pursuing the controller’s legitimate interests (except where overridden by the interests or rights of the data subject).

Statutory responsibilities

We may process your personal data in order to meet responsibilities imposed on us by legislation. The personal data processed to meet statutory responsibilities includes, but is not limited to, data relating to tax; health insurance; statutory sick pay; statutory maternity pay; family leave; work permits; and equal opportunities monitoring.

Retention of your data

CERGE and EI will retain your data according to its data retention schedule which follows laws and legal purposes.

Your rights

You have the following rights in relation to your personal data:

  • to access personal data held by us about you;
  • to require us to rectify any inaccurate personal data held by us about you;
  • to require us to erase personal data held by us about you.  This right will only apply where, for example, we no longer need to use the personal data to achieve the purpose we collected it for; or where you withdraw your consent if we are using your personal data based on your consent; or where you object to the way we process your data;
  • to restrict our processing of personal data held by us about you.  This right will only apply where, for example, you dispute the accuracy of the personal data held by us; or where you would have the right to require us to erase the personal data but would prefer that our processing is restricted instead; or where we no longer need to use the personal data to achieve the purpose we collected it for, but we require the data for the purposes of dealing with legal claims;
  • to receive personal data, which you have provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format. You also have the right to require us to transfer this personal data to another organization;
  • to object to our processing of personal data held by us about you;
  • to withdraw your consent, where we are relying on it to use your personal data;
  • to ask us not to use information about you in a way that allows computers to make decisions about you and ask us to stop.

Requesting information

As noted above, you have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised at any time by contacting us.

If you have any questions or wish to exercise your rights in the area of data protection, you can contact us at our premises, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,or you can contact the Data Protection Officer of Charles University at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..