David Giles awarded Distinguished Fellow

davidgilesOf all fields in economics, New Zealand is probably most renowned for producing top level econometricians. One distinguished contributor in this field is David Giles. Born in the United Kingdom in 1949, David moved to New Zealand as a young child. He went on to complete all of his university education in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. Like many top New Zealand economists of his generation, he initially undertook a B.Sc. (majoring in mathematics and statistics) before completing the “Knight’s Move” to complete an M.Com in economics in 1971. He joined the staff of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1971, remaining there until 1977. During this period he had a secondment to the Task Force on Economic and Social Planning. He also took a two year break from the Bank over 1973-1975 to undertake his PhD at Canterbury. His thesis topic, supervised by Tony Rayner, was “Bayesian Applications in Econometrics”.

His initial publications included contributions to the Bank’s large-scale econometric modelling project. These were published in the Bank’s Research Paper series in 1972. His first journal publication1 appeared in New Zealand Economic Papers in 1974 and in the following year he published an aspect of his PhD studies relating to Bayesian econometrics in the Journal of Econometrics.2 A number of his early published papers dealt with issues of urban and regional economics, now considered of major importance in development and growth theory, and being especially important for New Zealand.

In 1977, Dr Giles joined Monash University as a Lecturer in Econometrics, and was appointed Professor in 1978 (aged 29). He returned to the University of Canterbury as Professor of Econometrics in 1986. From 1994 onwards, he has been Professor of Econometrics at University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

His rapid rise to Professor reflected his prodigious research output. To the start of 2014 he has written two books, edited four others, contributed 16 book chapters, and published 132 refereed journal articles (not counting review articles and a host of other publications). His publications have appeared in journals such as: Econometrica, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, and Journal of Econometrics.

David is ranked in the top 5% of authors by REPEC on almost all their metrics, and there are currently approximately 3,000 citations to his publications. He has an h-index of 25 (meaning that 25 of his papers have been cited at least 25 times). His most cited works cover a range of his research interests covering econometric theory, applied econometrics, and statistics. His book with V.K. Srivastava on seemingly unrelated regressions3 has been cited over 300 times, and other heavily cited fields of work include his numerous influential papers on pre-test estimation, his modelling of the hidden economy across a number of countries (including New Zealand), and his recent work examining the maximum likelihood estimator of parameters across a range of distributions. He has also been well cited for his econometric analyses of the pop music industry and the demand for British rugby league!

In addition to his own research contributions, David has been active as a journal editor. He edited New Zealand Economic Papers (volumes 21-22) over 1987-1988, and has been North American Editor of Journal of International Trade and Economic Development since 1996. He has also served on numerous editorial boards including those of Econometric Theory and Journal of Econometrics. Importantly, David has been an active supervisor of post-graduate research. While at the University of Canterbury, he supervised research papers and theses by a number of students who are now prominent in New Zealand’s economic community.

His development of key fields of theoretical econometrics coupled with his applied econometric outputs, and his contributions to the development of other researchers through his journal editing and thesis supervision, underlies David Giles’ distinguished contributions to economics. Accordingly, the Association is delighted to honour him with this award of Distinguished Fellow.

1 Giles, D.E.A., 1974, “The Almon Estimator and Serially Correlated Disturbances”, New Zealand Economic Papers, 8, 138-150.
2 Giles, D.E.A., 1975, “Discriminating Between Autoregressive Forms: A Monte Carlo Comparison of Bayesian and Ad Hoc Methods”, Journal of Econometrics, 3, 229-248.
3 Srivastava, V.K. and D.E.A. Giles, 1987, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Equations Models: Estimation and
(Marcel Dekker, New York).