Gregory C. Chow is a major figure in econometrics and applied economics. Every beginning econometrics student learns the "Chow test," a statistical test for structural change in a regression. However, Gregory's work extends far beyond his eponymous test. He was a major figure in the postwar flowering of econometrics, and his applied work included important research in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics (particularly in reference to Southeast Asia). He has also been a major adviser on economic policy, economic reform, and economic education in both Taiwan and mainland China.
He received a B.S. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, entering in the fall of 1951. Gregory's first position after receiving his Ph.D. was at the Sloan School of Management of MIT. From MIT, Gregory accepted a tenured position at Cornell in 1959, his alma mater. He then accepted an offer from Ralph Gomory to join the IBM Thomas Watson Research Center at Yorktown Heights, New York, for a year. Gregory so liked IBM that after a few months he resigned his professorship at Cornell to join the company---quite an unusual career move at the time. Gregory was highly productive at IBM, doing work in econometrics, applied economics (including studies of the demand for money, the demand for computers, and the multiplier-accelerator model of Keynesian macroeconomics), and dynamic economics. While at IBM Gregory also applied his economic analysis and judgment together with his econometric skills to advise on corporate planning and to solve business problems for the company. Beginning in the middle 1960's, he also visited Taiwan often and served as a major economic adviser to the Taiwan government.
In 1970 Gregory accepted a professorship at Princeton, succeeding Oskar Morgenstern as the Director of the Econometric Research Program. He remained Director for almost three decades, stepping down in 1997. In 2001 Princeton University renamed the Program the Gregory C. Chow Econometric Research Program in his honor. At Princeton he continued to do innovative research in both econometrics and applied economics.His econometric research included the study of simultaneous equation systems, both linear and nonlinear; full-information maximum likelihood estimation; estimation with missing observations; estimation of large macroeconomic models; modeling and forecasting with time series methods.Combining econometrics, economic theory, and macroeconomics, Gregory did path-breaking work on optimal control theory and its application to stochastic economic systems. In more recent years he developed and championed a solution approach for dynamic optimization problems using Lagrange multiplier methods. Gregory also published a number of monographs and popular textbooks (his econometrics textbook has been translated into Chinese and Polish).
Gregory is a member of Academia Sinica and the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Econometric Society. He was Chairman of the American Economic Association's Committee on Exchanges in Economics with the People's Republic of China from 1981 to 1994, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Committee on Economics Education and Research in China from 1985 60 1994. He served as adviser to the Premier and the Commission on Restructuring the Economic System of the PRC on the reform of China's economy. He has been appointed Honorary Professor at Fudan, Hainan, Nankai, Shandong, the People's and Zhongshan Universities and the City University of Hong Kong, and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Zhongzhan University and Lingnan University in Hong Kong.