In Spring 2020, the CERGE-EI Foundation launched a pilot project to live stream bachelor’s and master’s level courses to universities across Eastern Europe and Central Asia in line with its mission to strengthen economics education across the region.
The objective of the project is to provide specialized, advanced courses which could be difficult for many institutions to offer, either because of insufficient student demand or because of a lack of faculty with the relevant expertise. The Prague-based faculty are western-qualified and the courses are taught in English. They are supported by faculty or PhD students at the participating institutions: a longer-term objective of the project is to aid local capacity-building.
The courses are delivered online from CERGE-EI’s Digital Media Center and live streamed to multiple locations. Faculty are also able to teach from home if the pandemic situation demands. Equally, students at participating universities may attend these classes remotely.
The simultaneous participation of several universities encourages interaction between students in different countries, encourages comparison and motivation, enables students to experience an international classroom in a home environment, and avoids the problem of low enrollment at a particular institution.
This exciting and ambitious project is funded by private donation. The Foundation is actively seeking additional funds to support its continued development.
If you are an institution interested in participating, contact us at
Spring 2021: Course Offerings
Courses Streamed in 2020, Institution (Country)
This course aims to acquaint students with the basics of main behavioral theories and empirical methods commonly used to test theoretical predictions. The knowledge obtained in this course may be useful for both professional life in future and study strategies.
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to
• understand the conceptual framework of behavioral economics and its tools
• apply insights from psychology when predicting or analyzing economic decision-making
• critically discuss the assumptions of traditional economic theory.
The goal of this course is to expose students to the newest developments in applied microeconomic research in development economics, particularly policy-oriented research. The topics covered will be especially close to the research agenda of the recent Nobel Prize Winners in Economics: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer. A further focus of the course is on the study of infrastructure, firms and labor markets in developing countries. Overall, the course offers a thorough understanding of current-day research in development, with a special angle on poverty reduction and private market policies. The goal is to enable students to identify promising research questions in these fields (e.g. for future studies), and to help students prepare for a career as a practitioner in government and non-government development organizations.
Andreas Menzel, Ph.D and Martina Miotto, Ph.D.
Energy Economics and Climate Policy
Energy is a basic necessity of daily life and a vital input to industry in any society around the world. New technologies, especially renewable power generators such as wind and solar, are changing the energy industry. Further, new climate policies have a growing influence on the economics and practical functioning of energy systems, especially the electricity industry.
The course firstly offers deeper theoretical insights into economic externalities such as global warming. A number of classical economic instruments are presented, including Pigovean taxes, cap-and-trade programs, subsidies, and mandates. The theory addressed also has broad applications in the fields of public finance and public policy.
Silvester van Koten, Ph.D.
The human capital of the population is a key determinant of labor-market success and economic growth. This means that the economics of education is the core of understanding individual and societal economic prosperity.
This course introduces students to the key concepts and major issues of the economics of education, placing emphasis on current empirical research in the field. Topics include: the basic theory of investments in education (human capital theory) and the role of early childhood education; returns to education and the empirical problem of disentangling returns to education from returns to innate ability; the roles of class size, peer effects and school expenditures, and more.
Miroslava Federičová, Ph.D.
How can we incentivize people to eat more healthily, donate blood, save money, procrastinate less and make better choices in general? Experimental Economics provides methods to test theoretical predictions and explore human behavior in specific environments. This six-week course is an introduction to the field of experimental economics. The course provides the skills needed to design, conduct and analyse an experiment. Students will learn mainly through “learning by doing”, gaining a working knowledge of techniques for conducting laboratory experiments, field experiments, and surveys.
Danijela Vuletić Čugalj, Ph.D.
This course covers production and demand for healthcare, how the determinants of demand and supply affect the costs of various types of healthcare services, and individual, family, and market investments in health. The field uses the tools from both microeconomics and econometrics to theoretically and empirically examine a number of topics, including the role of health insurance, healthcare in developing countries, and risky behavior.
Eva Hromadkova, Ph.D.
This course aims to provide a basic understanding of today’s changing landscape of financial markets and institutions with a broad scope and emphasis on general principles. Students will study the key fundamentals of financial markets and learn how financial markets and financial institutions work. We will discuss interest rates and their role in valuation, learn about efficient market hypothesis and exchange rate determination, explore money and capital markets, identify various players in the financial institutions industry, and take a closer look at risk management in financial institutions.
Gabriela Kuvíková, Ph.D.
Introduction to Data Science
This course provides an introduction to data science as a profession and focuses on the theoretical methodologies of the most widely applied machine learning models. The course also includes practical work with data during the exercise sessions, which will be conducted in Python. The participants of the course do not have to know Python but shall be able to understand the general concepts and steps of data processing during the exercise sessions and be able to replicate these steps in the data processing software of their choice. The main topics covered include: data preparation (data mining, cleaning and exploring strategies), statistical modeling with the application of appropriate machine learning methodologies (data segmentation, predictive analytics) and mathematical evaluation.
Vahan Sargsyan, Ph.D.