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Bai Jushan

Congratulations to the winner of 2017 China’s Economics Prize

Professor Gregory Chow’s Academic Achievements

Bai Jushan


I am very pleased to hear that Professor Gregory Chow and Professor Chen Xiaohong were awarded 2017 China’s Economics Prize, which stands for the highest honor in China’s economics filed. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to both professors for winning this laurel! Professor Gregory Chow and Professor Chen Xiaohong are prestigious economists in the international academic field. Professor Gregory Chow has made pioneering contribution in econometrics theory and its application, structural change of economic system, optimal control theory and its application and other fields while Professor Chen Xiaohong’s extraordinary achievements fall into econometrics theory and its application, especially GMM sieve estimation, estimation and inference of several parametric and non-parametric model and other fields. Both professors deserve this honor!


Let me brief Professor Gregory Chow’s academic achievements here and that of Professor Chen Xiaohong will be specially introduced by other experts and scholars according to arrangement of National Economics Foundation.


Gregory C. Chow, born in 1929 in Guangdong Province (native place: Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province), successively received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University and the University of Chicago. After receiving his Ph.D., He taught in several prestigious universities such as MIT, Cornell University and Columbia University. Now, he is a professor at Princeton University, the Chairman of the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China, a world-famous economist and an expert of Chinese economy.


It is known to all that Professor Gregory Chow is a great econometrics master. Chow-test, a non-negligible brainchild of Professor Gregory Chow, was proposed in 1960 in Tests of Equality Between Sets of Coefficients in Two Linear Regressions published on Econometrica. It is a test of whether the coefficients in two regression equations are equal. Chow-test is mainly applied to time series analysis, testing whether there is a considerable change of coefficients in the regression equation before and after a preset discontinuity. Chow-test is widely applied to estimate economic impacts caused by exogenous intervention and can test effectiveness of a policy. Besides, Chow-test is also very important in basic econometric analysis since almost all econometric professors will elaborate on it. Since “test” also means a way of examining a student’s proficiency or knowledge, so students, when attending this class of econometrics, will talk jokingly about whether they have passed Chow-test.


Chow-test, proposed and established by Professor Gregory Chow, has distinctive features and advantages. In practical application, researchers may often come across such situation: the preset exogenous discontinuity is very closed to the sample endpoint. Under such circumstances, there will be a very small sample size on one side of the endpoint, so estimation of coefficients in the regression equation on this side cannot be given. However, Chow-test can perfectly turn this into another situation: testing whether regression coefficients on the side that has larger sample size are equal to those of the whole sample. Structural break is not important in Chow-test, which determines that Chow-test can be widely applied.


Chow-test, proposed by Professor Gregory Chow, has exerted profound influence on econometric analysis, establishing an important economics research field: structural break and policy evaluation. Many well-known western late-comers conduct their research on the basis of Professor Gregory Chow’s achievements, enriching and developing the idea of Chow-test from different perspectives. For example, Professor Pierre Perron at Boston University introduced the idea of exogenous structural break into unit root test in 1989; Professor Donald Andrews at Yale University endogenized the exogenous structural break in 1993 and put this research topic in a more general GMM model. My early years research was deeply influenced by Professor Gregory Chow. I studied problems of structural change in my doctoral dissertation such as estimation and statistical inference of break numbers and positions under the circumstance of several endogenous breaks and asymptotic property of regression coefficients, which has already become one of the most important research fields in econometrics nowadays.


Besides econometrical field, Professor Gregory Chow has also made notable achievements in dynamic economics and China’s transition economics. For dynamic economics, Professor Gregory Chow has developed dynamic optimization methods under uncertain conditions to analyze econometrics model, spectral element methods of dynamic optimization and optimal control methods; Professor Gregory Chow pays particular attention to research on Chinese economy, publishing several monographs including The Chinese Economy (1985), Understanding China’s Economy (1994), China's Economic Transformation (2002), Knowing China (2004), and etc. Professor Gregory Chow is very concerned about the economy in the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He was once an academician of Academia Sinica and is crowned overseas as one of the “designers for take-off of Taiwan's economy” because of his prominent contributions to development of Taiwan’s economy.


Apart from Professor Gregory Chow’s extraordinary achievements in scientific research, he is also a pioneer of modern economics education in China. Teacher Chow initiated Econometrics Training Class in Summer Palace in 1980 and was also one of the seven keynote speakers. In 1980s, Teacher Chow served as Chairman of the U.S. Committee on Economics Education and Research in China, accelerating “Economics Education and Research in China” program, enabling a group of Chinese economists to receive systematic training of western economics and pushing forward with the Chinese economic reform. Thus, teacher Chow was honored as the “Sower of Modern Economics in China”. From 1985 to 1987, thanks to Chow’s presidence and interpersonal contact, the Ford Foundation held three “Ford Classes” in Renmin University of China and Fudan University, inviting several well-known American and European economists and economics elites who received Ph.D. from western universities to teach every year. “Ford Classes” has become the cradle of modern economics education in China, blazing a major way for development of scientific research and education of economics in China and promoting exchange between Chinese and international economists. Besides, the Ford Foundation annually sponsors dozens of Chinese students to study in the U.S., which is named as the “Gregory Chow’s China-US Exchange Program in Economics” (also known as “the Chow Program”): Teacher Chow sets paper for the selective test himself and the test is organized by State Education Commission of the PRC. This program selects the most outstanding students from state key colleges and universities and I myself is also the beneficiary of “the Chow Program”.


It is an honor for econometric field that National Economics Foundation decided to award Professor Gregory Chow and Professor Chen Xiaohong 2017 China’s Economics Prize, which is conducive to development of econometrics in China. I hope that more scholars, especially young ones could get interested in econometrics. Finally, I would like to again extend my heartfelt congratulations to two professors!

◆please indicate the source if authorized: National Economics Foundation

◆photo:National Economics Foundation