British-American Angus Deaton, a poverty analyst wins Nobel Prize in economics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded him the prize in honor of his contribution to the analysis of poverty, welfare and consumption.
The 69-year-old economist’s work has offered a better understanding of the current and available solution in combating poverty. His research has brought upon a powerful insight into a wide range of social issues, including the extent of poverty on the Indian subcontinent, the treatment of women in less developed nations and the connections between income inequality and the growth of the economy in the case of heavily industrialized countries.
According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Deaton was considered, nominated and finally awarded the prize based on three aspects of his extensive research: his study on consumer choices for spending on various goods, his analysis of how much of the income of society is spent versus how much it is saved and, finally, his analysis and determination of the best ways to measure poverty and welfare in any given country.
Following the announcement, the esteemed economist has said that these issues concern him dearly, in particular the situation in extensively impoverished areas and the manner in which society behaves, as a whole, in combating rising poverty levels and helping those in need.
He also went on to say that extreme poverty has fallen sharply in the last two-or-three decades, there is still much work to be done in combating existing impoverished areas around the world. Deaton said that despite the clear improvements over the past years, he does not want to sound like a “blind optimist” and pretend the current problem will disappear on its own.
Deaton chose to focus on consumer choices primarily because he believes society cannot understand the entirety of the problem without acknowledging what is happening in the “miniature economy of our daily choices.”
The memorial prize in economics was created by the central bank of Sweden in 1968, in honor of Alfred Nobel. In this respect, it stands in a different category from the Nobel Prize. It was first awarded in 1969 and ever since University of Chicago alumni have maintained a majority among recipients.
Deaton’s selection concludes the presentation of winners this year. The award giving ceremonies are to be held in Oslo and Stockholm simultaneously later this year, on December 10.
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