Professor Angus Deaton, a graduate and Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, has been awarded The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2015.

Professor Deaton from Princeton University, USA, has received the prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare".

The consumption of goods and services is a fundamental part of people’s welfare. According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Professor Deaton has deepened our understanding of different aspects of consumption. “His research concerns issues of immense importance for human welfare, not least in poor countries. Deaton’s research has greatly influenced both practical policymaking and the scientific community. By emphasizing the links between individual consumption decisions and outcomes for the whole economy, his work has helped transform modern microeconomics, macroeconomics and development economics.”

The Academy site says that Deaton receives this year’s Prize in Economic Sciences for three related achievements: the system for estimating the demand for different goods that he and John Muellbauer developed around 1980; the studies of the link between consumption and income that he conducted around 1990; and the work he has carried out in later decades on measuring living standards and poverty in developing countries with the help of household surveys.

Professor Deaton is Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Economics.

He has previously held appointments at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge and holds BA, MA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. He is author of four books and many journal articles, and has for many years been concerned with understanding individual and household behaviour and its links to well-being. His interests include global and domestic health, as well as economic development, poverty, and inequality. For many years, he has worked on these issues in India.

Professor Sanjeev Goyal, Chair of the Faculty of Economics, commented: "My colleagues and I are delighted to hear of the award of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics to Professor Angus Deaton. Prof Deaton was associated with Fitwilliam College and the Department of Applied Economics (DAE) in Cambridge at the start of his career. The period at the DAE played an important role in shaping the development of his work on the Almost Ideal Demand System, which has been recognised by the Nobel Prize today. Professor Deaton has been a Marshall Lecturer and more recently delivered the Richard Stone Lectures in Cambridge."

The Master of Fitzwilliam College, Nicky Padfield said: "Fitzwilliam College is buzzing with excitement at this news. Professor Deaton’s Foundation Lecture in the College in 2010 rekindled links which go back to his undergraduate days in the College, when he read maths and economics.  He has played many roles in the College - as student, teacher, researcher, Director of Studies and Honorary Fellow.”

Director of Studies in Economics at Fitzwilliam College, Anna Watson, said: “The College is extremely proud that Angus Deaton’s groundbreaking work spanning microeconomics, macroeconomics and development economics has received such extraordinary recognition. We are greatly honoured to have him as one of our alumni and Honorary Fellows. He is an inspiration for our students and for our wider College community.”

He has been a long-time consultant to the World Bank, on poverty measurement, and on the development of international price indexes to allow comparisons of poverty lines across different countries. In 2006, he chaired a panel charged with the evaluation of World Bank research over the previous decade. He has served on National Academy panels on poverty and family assistance, on price and cost-of-living index numbers, and on racial and ethnic differences in health.

In 1978, Professor Deaton was the first recipient of the Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society, and was Editor of Econometrica from 1984–1988.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was President of the American Economic Association in 2009.

Fitzwilliam College Foundation Lecture 2010: Professor Angus Deaton speaking at Fitzwilliam College on 9 November 2010


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