Jan Kmenta was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1928. He graduated from the Czech University of Technology in 1947 with a statistics major. He emigrated to Australia at the age of 21 where he earned a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney, Australia. He continued his academic pursuits at Stanford University where he earned his Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree with an economics concentration.
Upon graduating from Stanford University’s doctoral program, Jan began working as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin (1964-1965). He worked at Michigan State University for eight years (1965-1973) before becoming a part of the University of Michigan family as a professor of economics and statistics (1973-1993).
Jan retired from the University of Michigan in 1993 and was named Professor Emeritus of Economics and Professor Emeritus of Statistics by the Board of Regents. From the Proceedings of the Board of Regents in September 1993, “Jan is considered to be one of the foremost econometric theorists in the world and published the definitive text book on the subject, Elements of Econometrics…He is best known for his detailed studies of the properties of various econometric estimators; these include several series of papers reporting the results of his substantial research on seemingly unrelated regressions, estimation with missing observations, and estimation of production functions. He has served as associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association and the Review of Economics and Statistics and was a fellow of the American Statistical Association.”
Jan passed away on July 24, 2016, at the age of 88 in Prague, Czech Republic.