CERGE-EI News at the Turn of the Year 2019

23 December, 2019

The highlights of the year 2019 by Sergey Slobodyan, Director of CERGE-EI 
(Download PDF).

Dear friends, colleagues, students, and supporters of CERGE-EI,

This is the time of year when we summarize the most interesting news and highlight our community’s biggest achievements in the fields of research, education, and public impact projects. Let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your on-going support, which made all of these possible.

• As in previous years, CERGE-EI has maintained its strong position among research organizations, placing in the top 5% according to Research Papers in Economics (RePEc). Faculty and researchers have continued to publish in leading international journals, including one Top-5 and seven top decile papers.

• For the third year in a row, 2019 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (ARWU) placed Charles University among the top 100 universities in Economics. This year, Economics is the only field for which Charles University is among the top 100; this success is shared by CERGE UK and IES FSV UK.

• The CERGE-EI faculty welcomed new members: Ole Jann (PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Paolo Zacchia (visiting faculty position, PhD from the University of California, Berkeley). Post-doc researchers Pavel Kocourek (PhD from the New York University) and Martina Miotto (PhD from the University of Warwick) have also joined our team.

• CERGE-EI became a partner of EconPol Europe (a European network for economic and fiscal policy research), as one of five new associate partners. CERGE-EI also joined the GEOCEP, an international consortium of world-class universities, led by Charles University, addressing the environmental crisis induced by climate change.

• More than 50 speakers gave public lectures and research seminars at CERGE-EI, including scholars such as Davide Cantoni (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Paola Giuliano (University of California, Los Angeles), Ľuboš Pástor (Chicago Booth), Michèle Tertilt (University of Mannheim), Yacine Ait-Sahalia (Princeton University), Francesco Squintani (University of Warwick), Stephen Morris (Princeton University) and Paul Heidhues (University of Düsseldorf).

• CERGE-EI hosted several other conferences and workshops, such as the EEAG (European Economic Advisory Group) Report "A Fragmenting Europe in a Changing World" by Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. The Global Macroeconomics Workshop was organized in cooperation with Vienna Macro and Global Macro, and the IMF presentation “Demographic Headwinds in Central and Eastern Europe” took place in cooperation with IDEA Think Tank researchers. CERGE-EI celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Czech Velvet Revolution with a special event introducing its current economic research: “30 Years After the Velvet Revolution: From Transition Economics to Global Topics.”

• IDEA, our academic think tank, published 13 policy-oriented research studies, 3 interactive bibliometric web-tools, and organized 6 public events. They hosted distinguished speakers, such as Professor Shelly Lundberg from the University of California and Professor Josef Zweimüller from the University of Zurich. IDEA participates in Strategy AV21 – a Czech Academy of Sciences program for excellent research.

• CERGE-EI faculty members received several recognitions: Assistant Professor Christian Ochsner was awarded a prize by the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim (ZEW) for his study on populism. Associate Professor Filip Matějka was awarded the Minister of Education Youth and Sports Prize for outstanding results in social sciences research. Filip is one of the two Czech scientists who received the prize this year.

• CERGE-EI study programs continue to grow. The first cohort of students was enrolled into our new study program, Master in Economic Research. The program complements our two well-established graduate programs: PhD in Economics and Master in Applied Economics. This year, students from 23 countries were enrolled.

• 29 new graduates from the study programs joined our alumni community, some of them securing outstanding academic placements (Mykola Babiak at Lancaster University Management School, Andrei Matveenko at the University of Copenhagen, and Ivo Bakota at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy Munich).

• From the academic awards collected by our PhD students, let me mention the Czech Economic Society’s Young Economist of the Year competition (first prize: Vladimír Novák and Andrei Matveenko, third prize: Filip Staněk). Michal Šoltés and Klára Svitáková won the Karel Engliš Award for the best paper on Czech economic policy. Our PhD graduate Radek Janhuba was awarded the Josef Hlávka Prize, and our PhD student Jakub Grossmann won the František Venclovský Prize.

• In the 2018/19 academic year, 164 Teaching Fellows taught more than 400 courses at 78 universities in 21 countries throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. 51 of these were Career Integration Fellows, scholars with Western PhDs who return to their home countries to assume full-time university positions.

• CERGE-EI’s projects for the general public continued to extend the pool of students whom we reach: the Economics Discovery Hub, Projects in Applied Economics for High School Students, and New Economic Talent competition were joined by the Mentoring Program for Women Researchers. Altogether, more than 800 students took part in these projects. For the second time, CERGE-EI took part in the international Open House Festival as well.

• There was, unfortunately, sad news too. Long-term CERGE-EI Executive and Supervisory Committee member and renowned labor economist Alan B. Krueger from Princeton University passed away in March. Two former CERGE directors (both serving in years when CERGE and EI had separate directors), also passed away: Professor Karel Kánský in September, Professor František Turnovec in December. They will all be greatly missed.

• CERGE-EI’s New Digital Media Center proved to be an excellent tool, helping us to reach out to our research partners and colleagues around the world. This project, jointly funded by the Czech Academy of Sciences, USAID, and Charles University, reinforces CERGE-EI's reputation as a center of excellence in Economics.

None of these projects and achievements would have been possible without the on-going support of our parent institutions, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University. Sincere thanks also go to all our supporters for their dedication and commitment.

Last but not least, I would like to express gratitude to my colleagues – faculty, researchers, staff and students – for their great work and cooperation.

Let me wish you all Merry Christmas and a very successful New Year!


Sergey Slobodyan
Director of CERGE-EI

Prague, Czech Republic, December 20, 2019