A significant honour has been bestowed upon Professor Erwin W. Diewert, who has just been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). This adds to an impressive and ever-growing list of awards and recognitions including being a Fellow of the Canadian Royal Society and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association (one of the highest honours in economics).
Erwin has made outstanding contributions in the theory and practice of economics, introducing the concepts of flexible functional forms and superlative index numbers, as well as being a pioneer in duality theory, revealed preference theory, international comparisons and the user cost approach to capital measurement. Many of these contributions have been fundamental, generating new literatures and having an impact on real-world practice.
For example, his work on index numbers resulted in the U.S. changing the way they calculate GDP, which is possibly the most-watched statistic in the world. Besides his prolific publication record in leading academic journals, he has been a major contributor to a series of manuals that guide national and international statistical agency practice, such as the ILO manual on the Consumer Price Index, the IMF manual on the Producer Price Index, and the EuroStat Handbook on Residential Property Price Indices.
“With agencies such as the OECD, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Productivity Commission, he has worked to improve methodology and research agendas. It is extremely rare that an academic economist of his stature engages so closely with relevant agencies to improve the information that is used in policy making,” stated the ASSA in their citation for Erwin’s election. “For his outstanding contributions to theory and improvements in data key to effective policy making, he fully deserves the recognition of being a Fellow of the Academy.”
A most heartfelt congratulations Erwin, from everyone at the VSE!