Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Angus Deaton 2015 Nobel Laureate

Students on our MSc modules over the last 3 years will remember Angus Deaton's work from two parts of our course - firstly from various lectures on the measurement and determinants of well-being and secondly from lectures on the uses and limitations of randomised controlled.

Deaton was yesterday awarded the 2015 Nobel prize in Economics for his body of work on consumption, poverty and development.

Tyler Cowen generally provides a rapid and extremely informative summary of the careers of recent Nobel winners and his summary of Deaton is here including summaries of his many contributions to Economics.

His critique of the use of RCTs to estimate policy effects is something that anyone working on them should read and think about. I had a short blogpost on this last year but it is well worth reading his
famous article on this topic. I have never interpreted his critique as fatal for the use of RCTs in policy but it is a useful antidote to the incorrect idea that they are inherently more valid than other types of research design in estimating policy effects.

His recent book "The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality" is a terrific and readable account of the history of global poverty and development.

He has worked with Daniel Kahneman (paper here) examining the determinants of different measures of well-being. The connection of their two bodies of work is an exciting prospect for current and future generations of researchers.

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