Angus Deaton wins Nobel prize for consumption, welfare economics

Oct 13, 2015 (LBO) – The prize in economic sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel for 2015 has been awarded to Angus Deaton of Princeton University for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.

Angus Deaton enhanced the understanding in design of economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, the royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which makes the awards said in a statement.

“By linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes, his research has helped transform the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics.”

The work for which Deaton is now being honored revolves around three central questions.

“How do consumers distribute their spending among different goods? How much of society’s income is spent and how much is saved? and How do we best measure and analyze welfare and poverty?,” the statement said.

In his more recent research, Deaton highlights how reliable measures of individual household consumption levels can be used to discern mechanisms behind economic development.

His research has uncovered important pitfalls when comparing the extent of poverty across time and place. and it has also exemplified how the clever use of household data may shed light on such issues as the relationships between income and calorie intake, and the extent of gender discrimination within the family.

Deaton’s focus on household surveys has helped transform development economics from a theoretical field based on aggregate data to an empirical field based on detailed individual data, the statement added.

The economist was born in Edinburgh and holds both British and U.S. citizenship, is professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University in the United States.