The University Record, September 17, 1996

Svejnar will direct Davidson Institue

By Keith Decie
Business School


Jan Svejnar, one of the chief architects of the Czech Republic's economic reforms and a leading authority on the transition from command to market economies, has been appointed executive director of the William Davidson Institute at the Business School. He also will hold the Everett E. Berg Chair in Business Economics and International Business.

Svejnar has an unusual level of experience in the trenches of transition, as well as an outstanding academic record. Combining both the practical and the academic, he founded the only American-style Ph.D. program in economics in the former Soviet bloc as a means of replacing the discredited communist-oriented economics training in the region. Known as the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education---Economics Institute (CERGE-EI), that program was embraced by the Czech government and integrated with the Economics Institute (EI) of the Czech Republic's Academy of Sciences and draws students from throughout the region. Svejnar currently chairs CERGE-EI's executive and supervisory committee and also continues to serve as an adviser to Czech President Vaclav Havel.

"Jan Svejnar is an international figure in the field of transitional economies and has earned a reputation for path-breaking work," says B. Joseph White, Business School dean and William Davidson Institute president. Svejnar's research has covered a range of major issues in the field of economic development. While his work has focused on the former Soviet bloc, it has encompassed other developing regions, including Africa, Asia and South America.