“By linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes, his research has helped transform the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
“To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices,” the award-giving body said on announcing the 8 million Swedish crown ($978,000) prize. “More than anyone else, Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding.”
The economics prize, officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968. It was not part of the original group of awards set out in dynamite tycoon Nobel’s 1895 will.
The 69-year-old’s research has focused on health in both rich and poor countries, as well as on measuring poverty in India and around the world, according to his website. Born in Scotland, though now a citizen of the U.S. and the U.K., Deaton obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. His 2013 book, “The Great Escape,” maps the origins of inequality and its fallout spanning 250 years of economic history.
Deaton was honoured for three related achievements: for developing with his colleague John Muellbauer around 1980 a system for estimating the demand for different goods; studies of the link between consumption and income that he conducted around 1990; and the work he carried out in later decades on measuring living standards and poverty in developing countries with the help of household surveys.
Deaton, 69, has been a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University in the United States since 1983.
Last year, French economist Jean Tirole won the prize for his analysis of big companies, market power and regulation.
Deaton will receive his prize at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the prizes’ creator, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.
The economics prize is the only Nobel not originally included in Nobel’s last will and testament. It was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank to celebrate its tricentenary, and first awarded in 1969.
The other prizes have been awarded since 1901.
The economics prize caps this year’s Nobel season.
Last week, the two most closely-watched prizes, those for literature and peace, went respectively to Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich and Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet, four civil society groups that helped rescue the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring.