In 2005, the Department of Economics at Hitotsubashi University launched the Statistics and Finance Program (hereafter Stats & Finance; in Japanese, Toukei Finance). The program is primarily tailored to students aiming for careers in advanced research and development of financial instruments.
In spring 2007, MEXT, the Japanese Ministry of Education, announced a large-scale funding plan to improve graduate education ("Support Program for Improving Graduate Schools of Education (JSPS)"). The Department of Economics put Stats & Finance at the core of its proposal (translation of the proposal title: "Improving Financial Engineering Education in Economics MA Program"). MEXT approved our proposal in fall 2007.
This Global Center of Excellence (COE) program, the Research Unit for Statistical and Empirical Analysis in Social Sciences (G-COE Hi-Stat), aims at establishing a globally unique education and research base within the five-year span (2008-2012) of the program.
Based on the construction of a social sciences data archive, the program, in collaboration with the Institute of Economic Research and the Department of Economics at Hitotsubashi University, focuses on the development of young academics through "on-the-job" training, empirical research using this archive, and the development of both statistical techniques and economic theory directly related to the data.
Global COE programs are funded by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to support Japanese universities' efforts to establish education and research centers that perform at the apex of global excellence. For FY2008, 14 programs were selected in the social sciences.
From 2003 to 2007, the Hitotsubashi University hosted four Center of Excellence (COE) research programs funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Technology and Science. Faculty in the Department of Economics were deeply involved in two of these programs. These COE research programs ended with great success, showing the level of excellence of our research. They are now evolved into the Global COE program above and the Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems at Hitotsubashi University.