Angus Deaton is Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author of five books including, most recently, The Great Escape: health, wealth, and the origins of inequality. He is known for his work on consumer behavior, on savings and spending, and on poverty and inequality. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1945, and was educated in Scottish public schools, at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and at Cambridge University from which he received BA, MA, and PhD degrees. He was Professor of Econometrics at the University of Bristol from 1976 to 1983, and then moved to Princeton. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was President of the American Economic Association in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, he won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in recognition of his life?s work. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.”

Research Interests

Throughout his career, Angus Deaton's research has focused on understanding how people behave and on how to measure their wellbeing, understood to encompass material wellbeing, health, and happiness. His early work was concerned with consumer behavior, with how households allocate their spending across different goods and services, and how they respond to changes in prices and incomes. Such models are necessary for designing policies that make people better off, especially policies on taxation, planning, or antitrust. He has also tried to understand how people make decisions about saving, for example for retirement; saving is a key, not only for individual wellbeing, but also for macroeconomics. In his work on spending and on saving, a key focus has been aggregation, on how individual behavior adds up to the economy as a whole. In recent years, Deaton's analysis of wellbeing has expanded beyond material wellbeing, to health status, and to self-reports of happiness and life evaluation. He has worked on the measurement of poverty, both globally and nationally, and on the measurement of the multilateral international price indexes that are used to compare the cost of living between different countries. He has wrestled with national accounts statistics and household survey data in a sometimes-fruitless attempt at reconciliation, and to provide credible measures of growth, poverty, and inequality.

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Primary Section

Section 54: Economic Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences