Prof. Angus Deaton – New Nobel Prize for Economics Winner

This year’s Nobel Prize for Economics winner is a Scot economist in the name of Prof. Angus Deaton. He is 69 years old and at present an Economics and International Affairs professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, in New Jersey.

Prof Deaton received a cash prize of 8m Swedish krona ($966,000; £630,000) along with the greater recognition of his works and the fact that he is looked up by colleagues and peers.

How did he earn the prize?

According to the award-giving body Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Deaton’s work made a great transformation in various fields of economics. Furthermore, Deaton made an impact in the economic theory as well as in the practical application of data in the investigation of poverty and device economic policy.

“Consumption, Great and Small”

The headline “Consumption, great and small” was made as an announcement that Prof Deaton was this year’s winner. But, what does this headline means?

As far as economics is concerned, “Consumption means spending on goods and services by individuals and households.”

On the other hand, the academy said, “great and small reflects Prof Deaton’s analysis of consumer spending across a whole economy, and at the level of the individual and the household.”

The extensive use of data on spending taken from household surveys is the theme that the academy is looking into in analyzing Deaton’s work. Economists had previously working more from aggregate data for the whole economy.

With that, Prof Deaton was able to make a consistent theoretical approach on the fluctuations in consumer spending.

Angus Deaton
Nobel laureate Angus Deaton. www.thehindu.com

Moreover, Deaton also had able to bring his achievement beyond with the development of a theory of demand for goods and services, which he worked out with another economist John Muellbauer. The said theory states deals on how people allocate their spending between different products.

The academy defines him as “an important driving force in the transformation of this area of economics” – in moving from aggregate data to household surveys. Take as an example – his research that shed light on the question of whether rising incomes do lead to more calories being consumed, in other words to reducing malnutrition.

Prof. Deaton was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied at Fettes College before entering the famous Cambridge University. After his university years, he was able to teach in CU and University of Bristol. After that, he continued his economics career in US. Now, Prof Deaton holds both American and British citizenship.

Nobel Prize for economics was established by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and it was set up by Sweden’s central bank in 1968 as a memorial to Mr. Nobel, who died in 1896.

It is officially titled as the Riksbank’s Prize in Economic Sciences.

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