World-renowned economist Professor Gregory C. Chow shares his views on applied research

Ellen Chan

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World-renowned economist Professor Gregory C. Chow shared his views on applied research in his speech "From Research to Social Change" on 9 July at City University of Hong Kong. The event was co-organized by Run Run Shaw Library and the Department of Economics and Finance.

The significance of research lies not only in the acquisition of valuable knowledge but also in its emphasis on originality, said Professor Chow. There are two roughly defined approaches to the pursuit — basic research and applied research, he added. The former starts from research per se and then applies the results thus obtained to various cases, whereas the latter bases itself on real-life problems and seeks solutions to them through research, he explained.

Economists may not apply the results from their research to practical problems in economy, while first-class policy makers themselves may not be economists who engage in research, Professor Chow pointed out. Then he cited instances in China and other countries that have occurred over the ages.

To persuade policy makers to adopt a certain result from research, advised Professor Chow, one should not propose one single solution only, but should suggest an array of policies as possible options. Meanwhile, he went on, one must maintain close relations of cooperation with government officials so that the optimum policy can be outlined.

During the talk, Professor Chow also shared with the audience some problems that may crop up when policies are being carried out, and ways to solve them.

Professor Chow studied in the US at Cornell University and University of Chicago, where he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Later he taught at MIT, Cornell University, Columbia University and other world-famous institutions. He is a world-renowned expert in China's economy and an authority on econometrics. He is Professor of Economics at Princeton University and serves as Chairman of the American Economic Association's Committee on Exchanges in Economics with the People's Republic of China from 1981 to 1994.

Professor Chow has made many contributions to several fields of economics, having authored and published 12 books and over 200 articles. In 1960's he originated the world-famous "Chow test", which has become an important tool in econometrics. Chow also put forward the spectral methods and optimal control methods for the analysis of econometric models. The Econometric Research Program at Princeton University was renamed the Gregory C Chow Econometric Research Program in his honor.

Professor Chow is appointed Honorary Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at City University of Hong Kong. The Department has set up Professor Gregory Chow Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowships to finance students doing master's degree in Applied Economics.


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