British-born economist Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2015. He got this honour for his work on consumption, poverty and welfare that has helped governments to improve policy through tools such as household surveys and tax changes.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Deaton’s work had been a major influence on policy making, helping for example to determine how different social groups are affected by specific changes in taxation.
Deaton, 69, was born in Edinburgh but now works at Princeton University in New Jersey. He holds both U.S. and British citizenship.
While announcing the eight million Swedish crown ($978,000 US) prize, the award-giving body said,”To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices. More than anyone else, Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding”
Deaton has spearheaded the use of household survey data in developing countries, especially data on consumption, to measure living standards and poverty, the academy said.
“Deaton looks at economic development from the starting point of consumption rather than income.”
“Think of Deaton as an economist who looks more closely at what poor households consume to get a better sense of their living standards and possible paths for economic development.”
“I think of this as a prize about empirics, the importance of economic development, and indirectly a prize about economic history.”