Angus Deaton

This article is about the economist. For the English comic actor and television presenter, see Angus Deayton.
Sir Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton, Nobel Laureate in economics in Stockholm December 2015
Born Angus Stewart Deaton
(1945-10-19) 19 October 1945
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Nationality British
Fields Microeconomics
Institutions University of Bristol
Princeton University
Education Fettes College
Alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Thesis Models of consumer demand and their application to the United Kingdom (1975)
Notable awards

Sir Angus Stewart Deaton, FBA[1] (born 19 October 1945) is a Scottish-American economist. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.[2][3]


Angus Deaton presenting himself, December 2015

Deaton was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated as a foundation scholar at Fettes College. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Cambridge, the last with a 1975 thesis entitled Models of consumer demand and their application to the United Kingdom, where he was later a fellow at Fitzwilliam College and a research officer working with Richard Stone and Terry Barker in the Department of Applied Economics.[4]

In 1976 Deaton took up post at the University of Bristol as Professor of Econometrics. During this period, he completed a significant portion of his most influential work. In 1978, he became the first ever recipient of the Frisch Medal, an award given by the Econometric Society every two years to an applied paper published within the past five years in Econometrica. In 1980, his paper on how demand for various consumption goods depends on prices and income was published in The American Economic Review. This paper has since been hailed as one of the twenty most influential articles published in the journal in its first hundred years.[5]

In 1983, he left the University of Bristol for Princeton University. He is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (WWS) and the Department of Economics at Princeton.[6] He holds both British and American citizenship.[7]

In October 2015 it was announced that Deaton had won that year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The BBC reported that Deaton was "delighted" and that he described himself as "someone who's concerned with the poor of the world and how people behave, and what gives them a good life". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that economic policy intended to reduce poverty could only be designed once individuals' consumption choices were understood, saying, "More than anyone else, Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding. By linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes, his research has helped transform the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics".[8] New York University economist William Easterly said, "What was impressive about this Nobel is how many different fields Angus has contributed to". Easterly noted Deaton’s bravery in the face of the political aspects of his research area and the "tortuous details" involved in his work, adding: "No one accuses him of having an agenda on these questions, and there are a lot of people in this field who do have an agenda".[9]


Deaton's first work to become known was the almost ideal demand system (AIDS), which he developed with John Muellbauer and published in The American Economic Review (AER) in 1980.[10] As a consumer demand model it provides a first order approximation to any demand system which satisfies the axioms of order.

In 1978 Deaton became the first recipient of the Frisch Medal, an award given by the Econometric Society every two years to an applied paper published within the past five years in Econometrica. Deaton is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA),[11] and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In April 2014, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.[12] The following year, in April 2015, Deaton also was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.[13] He holds honorary degrees from the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, University College London, and the University of St. Andrews. In 2007, he was elected president of the American Economic Association. He won the 2011 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award of Economics, Finance and Management for his fundamental contributions to the theory of consumption and savings, and the measurement of economic wellbeing.[14]

He formulated the Deaton Paradox based on the observation of excess smoothness of consumption in the face of unanticipated permanent income shocks.[15]

Deaton is also the author of "Letters from America", a popular semi-annual feature in the Royal Economic Society Newsletter.[16]

He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to research in economics and international affairs.[17]

Personal life

Deaton has two children, born in 1970 and 1971.[18] He is married to Anne Case, Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The couple's recreational activities include the opera and trout fishing.[6]



  1. Instruments of Development - website British Academy
  2. "The Prize in Economic Sciences 2015".
  3. Wearden, Graeme. "Nobel prize in economics won by Angus Deaton – live". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  4. "Cambridge alumnus awarded Nobel economics prize". University of Cambridge. 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  5. "100 Years of the American Economic Review: The Top 20 Articles". American Economic Review. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  6. 1 2 "NBER Profile: Angus Deaton". National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  7. Rising, Malin (12 October 2015). "Scottish economist Angus Deaton wins Nobel economics prize". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  8. "British academic awarded Nobel economics prize". BBC News Online. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  9. Timiraos, Nick; Duxbury, Charles (12 October 2015). "Angus Deaton Awarded Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences". The Wall Street Journal. New York City. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  10. Deaton, A; Muellbauer, J (1980). "An Almost Ideal Demand System". American Economic Review. 70 (3): 312–326. JSTOR 1805222.
  11. British Academy Fellows: DEATON, Professor Angus Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. - website of the British Academy
  12. "Newly Elected - April 2014". American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  13. "News from the National Academy of Sciences". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  14. Alonso, M. E. (21 February 2012). "Angus Deaton y su teoría del consumo, premio BBVA". ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  15. Henderson, David. "The Deaton Paradox". Library of Economics and Liberty. Liberty Fund. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  16. "Letters from America".
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61608. p. B2. 11 June 2016.
  18. Deaton, Angus (November 2014). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Princeton University. Retrieved 13 October 2015.

External links

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