Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Edmond Malinvaud (1923-2015)

By now, many of you will be aware that the highly influential French economist, Edmond Malinvaud, passed away on 7 March at the age of 91.

This is a huge loss for the profession.

Malinvaud made many seminal contributions to microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. You can read the ET Interview of Edmond Malinvaud, by Alberto Holly and Peter Phillips, here.

His incomparable and highly acclaimed econometrics text, Statistical Methods of Econometrics, was first published in French in 1964. The first English edition followed in 1966. This was the text for the core course in econometric theory that I took for my Masters degree in 1971. It's heavy emphasis on geometric analysis made it challenging, to say the least! However, this book remains one of the most important to econometrics volumes to have been written. It was ahead of its time in many respects - for instance in its treatment of minimum distance estimation - and re-reading it today still provides important insights.

The closing words in the first English edition of SMIE are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago:
"Finally, we must never forget that our progress in understanding economic laws depends strictly on the quality and abundance of statistical data. Nothing can take the place of the painstaking work of observation of the facts. All improvements in methodology would be in vain if they had to be applied to mediocre data." 

© 2015, David E. Giles