For High School Students

Projects in Applied Economics for High School Students

Projects in Applied Economics for High School Students was a free competition program run by CERGE-EI between 2016-2019. The program was designed for high school students who wished to gain a deeper understanding of economics, learn and apply research methodology and pursue their own research interests supervised by experienced academics. The group that provided the best research work was awarded a special prize at a final round.

This program was organized by the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economic Institute (CERGE-EI), a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and supported by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports.


About the program

Participating high school students got a unique opportunity to learn and to apply research methods under the supervision of young and well-experienced researchers. They explored selected economics topics using real data and received feedback on their work as well as suggestions for their future activities. A special prize was awarded to the group that provided the best research work.

„The project was interesting and rewarding. It gave me a better idea of how economics and statistics are used in real life. I gained a key knowledge base of how statistics works, which will greatly help in my future studies and at university.“

Jakub, student, 2016 participant

Program structure

In 12 weeks, the participants

  • Learned the basics of economics and research methods (week 1 – 6)
  • Pursued a research project based on obtained real data (week 7 – 10)
  • Received a presentation skills workshop (week 11)
  • Presented their research results and got feedback on their work (week 12)

In the first half of the program a group of 25 – 30 students learned the economics basics and methodology. In the second half, the students were divided into small groups (of about 5) focused on particular topics based on their interest; using real data sets to pursue their own research in collaboration with a supervisor. When their research was finished, the Academic Skills Center of CERGE-EI provided them with a presentation skills workshop, including consultation and feedback on their materials. The program concluded with each group presenting their research results and discussing them. The best group was awarded a valuable prize.

Who was it for?

The participants were

  • Students within the last three years of high school (2nd-4th year of 4 year high school/ 4th-6th year of 6 year high school/ 6th-8th year of 8 year high school), aged 19 or younger
  • Eager to learn research methods and pursue their own research
  • Strong in Mathematics (no specific knowledge of mathematics is required, however some basics are necessary and ability to comprehend new concepts will help enable you to use it in your own research)
  • Fluent in English

What topics did they research, who were the lecturers and tutors?

The students had an opportunity to pursue research in diverse areas of economics using a range of methods. The research projects followed the research of tutors and researchers, who were advanced CERGE-EI PhD candidates and graduates with rich experience in both research and teaching.

When and where?

Typically from end September to mid December (1 x 2 hours per week, 5-7pm ) at CERGE-EI, Politických vězňů 7, Prague 1.

The project team

Program supervisor:  Filip Pertold, PhD
Lecturers: Lucie Zapletalová and Michal Šoltés

Tutors and Research Topics: 

Vít Macháček: What drives real estate prices in Prague?
This project dealt with factors influencing prices of real estate listed on the website in the area of Prague. The prices were a result of complex factors ranging from the relative position to the city center, availability of public transport and services to the surrounding environment. The students' task was to shed more light on what factors are the crucial determinants of the prices and whose role is rather low. Their model could potentialy serve as a basis for a real estate price-map of Prague.

Petr Pleticha: Dating market: Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract?
The goal of the project was to investigate how fields of study determine mutual attraction and likelihood of dating. Such insights are not only interesting from the academic perspective; they are also relevant for policy. The increasing number of couples with similar fields of study and career tracks add to income inequality among families. Whether it is due to people’s preferences or due to meeting opportunities is relevant for the policymakers.

Miroslava Federičová: Do your parents matter for success at school?
The Czech Republic belongs among those OECD countries where the family background impacts on student performance. Under family background we usually understand the parents' level of education, highest parental occupation, and family income or home possession. Using data from the international programme PISA 2015 that tested 15-year-old students from all over the world, the project team provided a deeper perspective on how certain aspects of family background may affect student achievement.

Michal Šoltés: How do we get right political representation?
It is well known that elected political representation has a great impact on the economy. In each municipality, the council is responsible for the provision of public goods such as public schooling, street lighting, road reconstruction and so on. Therefore, it is important for economists to understand who we, as citizens, elect and how the election result shapes economic policies. During the project, the team focused on data about Czech municipalities and investigated what characteristics of candidates served as good predictors of the election results.

Nikoloz Kudashvili: What determines your health?
Improved health outcomes are associated with the higher productivity of workers. Therefore, good health positively affects GDP per capita. However, it is not well investigated how different individual characteristics affect the health level of an individual. In this project we used data from the UK Health Survey to model the effect of various individual characteristics such as age, gender and geographical area on the health level. This allowed us to analyze whether there are differences in health outcomes for individuals of different age and gender.

Download Projects in Applied Economics for High School Students poster.