Nobel laureate to visit Taiwan: CIER

‘TRUE MASTER’::Described by his peers as a virtuoso in finance and economics, Lars Peter Hansen is also the son-in-law of late CIER founder Chiang Shou-chieh

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - Page 4

Lars Peter Hansen, one of the three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, is to visit Taiwan next year, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) president Wu Chung-shu (吳中書) said.

Hansen is the son-in-law of Chiang Shou-chieh (蔣碩傑), the institution’s founder and first chairman, Wu added.

The CIER will invite Hansen, a professor at the University of Chicago, to attend a series of activities commemorating the 20th anniversary of Chiang’s death next year, Wu said.

Saying that Hansen has visited the country many times, Wu said that in addition to attending various Taiwan-sponsored international economic forums, the Nobel laureate has come to Taiwan before to see relatives or attend events commemorating his late father-in-law.

Chiang, a renowned economist who was an academic at Academia Sinica and a trusted economic adviser to former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982.

Wu said Hansen winning this year’s prize could be seen as redress for Chiang Shou-chieh not receiving the coveted award.

Hansen is a cofounder of the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, which builds on the legacy of Milton Friedman.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gave the Nobel to Hansen and fellow US economists Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller on Monday for their research on how financial markets work and how assets are priced.

The three economists “laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices,” the academy said.

Their work spans almost 50 years, beginning with the finding made by Fama, who is also at the University of Chicago, that it is difficult to predict price movements in the short run. That conclusion forms the basis for the theory that financial markets are efficient and led to the development of stock-index funds.

Wu said that Shiller, 67, a Yale University professor, has also visited Taiwan several times, most recently in May to attend a seminar in Taipei. In November last year, he delivered a keynote speech at a forum sponsored by a local magazine.

Lin Ming-jen (林明仁), an associate professor of economics at National Taiwan University, said that he once attended a class given by Hansen while he was doing a doctorate at the University of Chicago.

“Hansen is a true master in both economics and finance,” Lin said.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota on Monday said Hansen’s “remarkably general empirical methods free researchers from the need to make a range of empirically implausible statistical assumptions about the data that they are studying.”

Hansen served as Kocherlakota’s adviser at the University of Chicago.