A Wealth of Praise

Economists gather at the International Monetary Fund workshop on economic forecasting, where they paid tribute to Kajal Lahiri, front row, sixth from left, and in the inset.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 5, 2017) — The legacy forged by UAlbany’s Distinguished Professor of Economics and Health Policy, Management & Behavior Kajal Lahiri was evidenced in Washington D.C. on April 26 and 27 when more than 50 internationally respected economists paid tribute in the best way researchers know how: presenting their own work as an outgrowth of his.

At the Workshop on Forecasting Issues in Developing Economies, hosted by the research division of the International Monetary fund, Lahiri was honored on his 70th birthday for more than four decades of important contributions to the field of economics, particularly in the areas of econometrics, economic forecasting and the economics of health.

The conference’s summary noted: “The impressive range of Lahiri’s work was highlighted throughout the conference as different presenters pointed out how their work built on his research.”

The more than 50 economists from all over the world who presented the papers included former Lahiri Ph.D. students. He has been the primary advisor of 56 doctoral dissertations to date and has been ranked among the top 5 percent of mentors worldwide by the economic bibliographic database IDEAS, based on their record of Ph.D. students. A collection of the presented papers will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Forecasting (Elsevier).

Lahiri’s response was twofold: extreme gratitude, but with the clear message that at 70 he is not about to let up. In his conference keynote address, Lahiri spoke from his latest research on using macroeconomic forecasts to analyze the contagion in global business cycles, and noted that he has just begun a five-year multi-institution multi-million dollar study for New York State of its Medicaid program with Diane Dewar, director of the School of Public Health’s Institute for Health System Evaluation.

Unrelated to the conference tribute, a collection of 20 articles written by leading economists has been published in his honor in the current issue of the journal Empirical Economics on behalf of the Institute of Advanced Study, Vienna. They cover but three areas of his expertise: forecasting, use of survey data on expectations and panel data applications.

“Kajal worked in other areas not well represented in this special issue, including economics of health and disability and transportation economics,” noted the volume’s editor, Distinguished Professor Badi Baltagi of Syracuse University. “The success of this Special Issue relies on the support of Kajal’s colleagues, friends, students, and the many scholars influenced by his work.”

Lahiri received his Ph.D. in economics in 1975 from the University of Rochester. Elected an Honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Forecasters in 2009, he’s had more than 120 articles published in such professional journals as American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of the American Statistical Association, among others.

He has also written/coedited a number of books and journal volumes, including Introduction to Econometrics (4th edition, Wiley) with the late G.S. Maddala, and has been on the editorial boards of ten major economics journals.

Among the impressive sources that have supported his research are the National Science Foundation, World Bank, New York State Division of Budget, International Monetary Fund, Ford Foundation, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Institutes of Health.


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