Princeton University Professor Angus Deaton Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Angus Deaton. Photo courtesy of Princeton University.
Woodrow Wilson School Professor Angus Deaton. Photo courtesy of Princeton University.

Princeton University Professor Angus Deaton has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to understanding consumption, poverty and welfare.

“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,” the Nobel Committee said. “His research concerns issues of immense importance for human welfare, not least in poor countries. Deaton’s research has greatly influenced both practical policy making 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.”

Deaton said he received word of the award in a 6:10 a.m. phone call from the Nobel committee in Stockholm, Sweden.

“If you’re my age and you’ve been working for a long time you know this is a possibility,” Deaton said. “But you also know there are a huge number of people out there who deserve this. That lightning would strike me seemed like a very small probability event. It was sort of like, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s really happening.'”

Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of International Affairs and a professor of economics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has been a faculty member at Princeton University since 1983.

Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs said she was thrilled for Deaton.

“This prize represents a lifetime of important contributions to the understanding of consumption, poverty and inequality,” Rouse said. “His work is sophisticated and careful, but also passionate. Beyond that, Angus is a tremendous teacher, mentor and colleague.”

Deaton joins several other tenured Princeton faculty members who have received a Nobel Prize in economics in the last two decades, including Christopher Sims in 2011, Paul Krugman in 2008, and Daniel Kahneman in 2002.