LAWRENCE — Zongwu Cai is recognized internationally for his outstanding professional and academic achievements in economics, econometrics and statistics. After eight years of work at the University of Kansas, Cai received an appointment as the Charles Oswald Distinguished Professor of Econometrics, which began at the start of the fall 2021 semester.
“Professor Cai is representative of some of the best minds at KU, and his achievements demonstrate an insatiable spirit for knowledge,” said Barbara Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor. “He has stretched the boundaries of economics, statistics and econometric methodology to contribute meaningfully to understanding the world around us and how we can use new information to make it a better place. The university distinguished professors have a celebrated record of teaching and scholarship. His achievements at KU and beyond are a testimony to the power of higher education to transform lives and build better communities. My heartfelt congratulations go to Dr. Cai.”
Cai joined the university as a professor of economics in 2013. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Journal of Econometrics. His primary research focuses on developing and justifying econometric methodology and applications in economics and finance where the econometrics discipline is useful.
“My research builds a methodological bridge connecting real data and economic-financial theories, which enhances people’s understanding of the real world,” Cai said. “I develop new econometric techniques to analyze unknown relationships. The methods I have invented are used to understand how variables influence housing prices, stock returns, foreign direct investment, exchange rates, biochemical oxygen demand, advertising and climate change, among others.”
Cai’s current research interests include theoretical and applied economics, policy and social program evaluation, financial econometrics, quantitative finance, big data research, digital economics and finance, nonlinear and non-stationary time series modeling and their applications in economics and finance.
Cai has published more than 110 papers in international journals, including many top economic, finance and statistics journals. Currently, he is serving as the associate editor or as a member of the editorial board for many international journals, including China Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Econometric Theory, Econometric Reviews, Applied Mathematics – A Journal of Chinese Universities, African Finance Journal, Big Data and Cloud Innovation, and the International Journal of Energy Statistics. He also served a guest editor for the special issue of Journal of Econometrics.
He has been the recipient of many awards in his career, with one of the most notable coming in 2013 when he received the Econometric Theory Multa Scripsit Award from Cambridge University Press & Assessment.
Before he arrived at KU, Cai served in a professorship in the mathematics and statistics department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 15 years and as an adjunct professor at the economics department for eight years. He has also held many other adjunct or guest professor roles at universities around the world.
He was the president of the Chinese Economist Society (CES) for 2018-19 and the chairman of regents of the CES for 2020.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the China University of Geosciences and a master’s degree in statistics from Zhejiang University in China, Cai holds a doctorate in statistics from the University of California, Davis.
Cai’s distinguished professor inaugural lecture has yet to be scheduled.