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Guoqiang Tian


Letter of Congratulations


November 18, 2017


Distinguished guests, dear colleagues and friends,


I am very delighted to learn that Professors Gregory C. Chow and Xiaohong Chen have won the 2017 China Economics Prize for their outstanding contributions on econometrics research. Though not being able to attend the ceremony, I wish to express my heartiest congratulations to Professors Chow and Chen through this letter. They truly deserve this honor.


Professor Chow and Professor Chen are both major figures among Chinese economists worldwide. Their contributions inherit and develop econometric research. Professor Chow developed the famed “Chow test”, a statistical test for economic structural change. When I learnt about this test as a graduate student at Huazhong University of Science and Technology back in 1980, I was so proud of such a Chinese economist. Professor Chow also made great achievements in other fields of economics. He proposed the spectral methods and optimal control methods for the analysis of econometric models and dynamic optimization of economic system. He is also one of the earliest overseas scholars who studied the economy of China using modern economics, and published his monograph “The Chinese Economy” in 1985.


Professor Chen’s original contributions are her works on sieve estimation and inference on semi-nonparametric conditional moment restrictions containing unknown functions of endogenous variables. Her theoretical work provides support for building more robust economic models and reducing the risk of errors. Professor Lars Peter Hansen, the 2013 Nobel Laureate, who came all the way from the University of Chicago for presence today, has been awarded the Nobel prize partly for his innovative GMM theory and applications to finance and macro economics. The work by Professor Chen and her co-author Professor Chunrong Ai extends GMM theory, which was mentioned by Professor Hansen in his Nobel lecture published in JPE. Professor Chen and Professor White’s work on neural network sieve M-estimation of nonparametric nonlinear time series models was also cited in the 2000 Nobel Laureate Professor McFadden’s lecture published in AER.


Professor Chow is also credited with his pivotal role in the promotion and development of econometrics and modern economics in a larger sense after the reform and opening-up in China. As early as in 1980, Professor Chow, the Nobel Laureate Klein and five other professors organized and lectured for the well-known “Summer Palace Econometrics Workshop”. My supervisors at that time in mainland China, Professor Shaogong Lin and Professor Chulin Li also attended the workshop and served as translator and mathematics tutor. In 1984, Professor Chow launched the Chow Program to place a large number of Chinese graduate students to study economics in renowned universities in the US lasted three academic years. The academic years for the students to enter were from 1985-6, 1986-7 and 1987-8. Afterwards in 1985, he organized the first Ford Class at Renmin University of China, and my PhD supervisor at Minnesota Professor Hurwicz was invited to teach microeconomic theory course for that class.


All these three activities have far-reaching influence on economics research and education in China, promoting the development of modern economics in China and nurturing many accomplished economics figures and educators around the world. Professor Chen is a student from the Ford Class. Prominent names benefiting from Chow’s programs also include Chunrong Ai, Jushan Bai, Yongmiao Hong, Guofu Tan, Shangjin Wei, Danyang Xie, Junsen Zhang, Lin Zhou, etc., among many other Chinese economists who are active in the international economics profession.


Finally, congratulations once again to Professor Chow and Professor Chen!




Guoqiang Tian


Alfred F. Chalk Professor, Department of Economics, Texas A&M University

Dean and Professor, School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

◆please indicate the source if authorized: National Economics Foundation

◆photo:National Economics Foundation