Jan Svejnar focuses on the effects of government policies on firms, labor and capital markets; corporate, national, and global governance and performance; and entrepreneurship.
Professor Svejnar previously served as director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is a founder and Chairman of CERGE-EI in Prague (an American-style Ph.D. program in economics that educates economists for Central-East Europe and the Newly Independent States). He serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CSOB Bank and co-editor of Economics of Transition. He is a Fellow of the European Economic Association and Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (London) and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn).
From 1996 to 2004, Professor Svejnar was the Executive Director of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. From 1992 to 1997, he served as the Founding Director of the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He also served as Co-Director of the Transition Programme at the Center for Economic Policy Research in London, President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies, President of the International Association for the Economics of Labor-Management, Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Governing Board member of the European Economic Association, and adviser to policymakers, institutions, and firms.
He is the author and editor of a number of books and has published widely in academic, policy, and practitioner-oriented journals in advanced and emerging market economies, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Economica, Economics of Transition, European Business Forum, European Economic Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Labor Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and Review of Economics and Statistics.
Professor Svejnar was honored for his distinguished work with a 2012 Neuron Prize from the Prague-based Karel Janeček Endowment for Research and Science. He was one of three honorees for lifelong achievement, a recognition considered to be the Czech Republic's most prestigious for science. The Endowment spokesperson stated:
“[A] Neuron 2012 award for lifelong achievement goes to economist Jan Švejnar, a world-renowned expert on the strategy of economic transformations. After 1989, Professor Švejnar recommended that Czech political leaders initially create a strong legal framework before they can privatize state enterprises. But at that time politicians did not accept his advice and as a result, corruption and infiltration of business interests in politics are the sad legacy of that period.”
Prior to joining Columbia University in 2012, Professor Svejnar taught at the University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, and Cornell University. He received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.