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Peter M. Robinson


It is an enormous pleasure to honor the joint winners of the 2017 China Economics Prize, Professor Xiaohong Chen and Professor Gregory Chow (in alphabetical order according to the English versions of their family names, though it is a close run thing!)


But to ensure balance let me appreciate them in reverse alphabetical order. 


When I was a student learning about econometrics for the first time, Professor Chow was already a giant in the field. In those days econometrics was comparatively small, with the parametric topics of linear regression and linear simultaneous equations dominating. Professor Chow made very important contributions in these areas, and of course the Chow test is famous. His 1975 book Analysis and Control of Dynamic Systems was also well known to me. He continued throughout his career to produce influential publications, including of course his books on China. Professor Chow is unique in the extent to which his writings span theoretical econometrics to applied economics. He is also unique as an early Chinese figure in econometrics, and richly deserves the 2017 China Economics prize. 


Unfortunately I have only met Professor Chow a few times over the years. By contrast, I have been fortunate in meeting Professor Chen on countless occasions. 


In fact for a couple of glorious years Professor Chen and I were colleagues, when I managed to persuade her to come to LSE. It was too good to last, and she returned to the US, where her career has flourished. The award of the 2017 China Economics Prize to Professor Chen has nothing to do with gender balance. Of course she has had to work all the harder to succeed in a male dominated profession, but I can’t think of anyone in econometrics, male or female, who is technically more high-powered, as evidenced by her research on sieve estimation and other areas of nonparametric and semiparametric inference. Professor Chen is already a very prominent figure in econometrics, in service to the profession as well as research, and my prediction that she will become a much more prominent one has zero mean squared error. 


Finally let me offer my congratulations to both these distinguished scholars for this prestigious award.


Peter M. Robinson

◆please indicate the source if authorized: National Economics Foundation

◆photo:National Economics Foundation