UP Professor elected as fellow of the prestigious Econometric Society

Posted on October 20, 2023

Professor Steven Koch of the Department of Economics has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society, an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. The Society was founded in 1930 and since its inception, 1 188 fellows have been elected to the Society.

Prof Koch is among 29 newly elected fellows from the six regions across the globe who were nominated by members of the Society, active fellows and the nominating committee. The Society primarily engages in publishing the journals Econometrica, Quantitative Economics, and Theoretical Economics. Additionally, it releases research monographs, hosts annual scientific meetings in six global regions and a World Congress every five years. Rosa Matzkin, President of the Econometric Society, said the election of fellows recognises their contribution to economics as discipline.

“Election as a fellow of the Econometric Society is a recognition of important contributions to economics. The fellows represent the highest authority of the Society. I congratulate them on this great honour,” he said.

Prof Koch served as the Head of the Department of Economics in the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) from 2009 to 2022.  During his tenure, he supported Economic Research Southern Africa, the premier platform for economics researchers across Southern Africa, in its efforts to improve the quality and impact of local research.

He played a key role in establishing the African Econometric Society, which was later included as a region within the Econometric Society. His goal was to ensure representation of African expertise and economists on the Society. He currently serves as Managing Editor of the South African Journal of Economics and serves on both the Econometric Society Committee for the African Region and the EMS Faculty’s Postgraduate Committee.

As a C2-rated National Research Foundation researcher with over 50 peer reviewed publications, his research interests are in applied microeconomics. His primary research focus is on household decisions, including healthcare-seeking and health-affecting behaviours, as well as health inequality, energy consumption and energy poverty, and equivalence scales. 

Speaking on the recognition, he said he was pleasantly surprised and equally elated, because his election was unexpected.  “I am very excited and proud to be a fellow of the Econometric Society. However, more work still needs to be done in the African region to ensure that more of our excellent researchers can receive this and similar honours,” he said.

“Few economists are selected in any given year and most of them are working in departments ranked in the top 20 across the globe, with extensive resources to make a meaningful impact on the field. So, this is a great honour,” he added.

As a fellow, he represents the highest authority of the Society and is eligible to vote in the annual elections for officers, council, and new fellows. 

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