nobel prize

Princeton’s Angus Deaton Wins Nobel in Economics

Princeton University professor Angus Deaton has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to understanding consumption at the individual level and in aggregate.

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


Deaton was honored with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in “consumption, poverty and welfare,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted in announcing the award today.

“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 policymaking 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.

“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.'”

“Angus Deaton is a brilliant economist whose pioneering research attacks big questions with rigor, imagination and daring,” said Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. “He has deepened our understanding of poverty, inequality and human well-being in ways that will inform both academic and policy debates for decades to come. Angus has been a leader not only in his field but on this campus, where he has taught for more than 30 years. We are fortunate to have him at Princeton, and we are thrilled that he has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.”

“I am so thrilled for Angus Deaton,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “This prize represents a lifetime of important contributions to the understanding of consumption, poverty and inequality. His work is sophisticated and careful, but also passionate. Beyond that, Angus is a tremendous teacher, mentor and colleague. Congratulations.”

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.

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