Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of International Affairs and a professor of economics and international affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences on Oct. 12.
Deaton, who has taught at Princeton since 1983, received the award in recognition of his groundbreaking work studying the ways in which the economic behavior of individuals influences broader economic patterns. Unlike many economists, he has relied on surveys of individual households rather than national economic statistics, to gain deeper insights into the factors driving economic development.
In a statement announcing the award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, “The consumption of goods and services is a fundamental part of people’s welfare. The Laureate, Angus 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.”
In remarks at a press conference in Richardson Auditorium, well attended by colleagues, students, and several foreign journalists, Deaton paid tribute to the University, “which provided me with what I was looking for when I came over from Britain.” He also spoke rhapsodically about the importance of accurate economic data.
“I feel passionately about measurement,” he said, “about how difficult it is, how much theory and conceptualization is involved in it, and indeed how much politics is involved in it.”
Deaton, who will be officially recognized in a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10, becomes the 10th member of Princeton’s current faculty to win a Nobel Prize and the sixth Princeton professor to win it in economics. Only the University of Chicago (12) and the University of California (8) have won more. He also will receive a prize of 8 million Swedish krona, equivalent to approximately $977,000.
More details about Deaton and the Nobel Prize will appear in the Nov. 11 print edition of PAW.