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Friday, October 23, 2015

Orazio Attanasio on Angus Deaton

More on Angus Deaton from Orazio Attanasio:

Angus Deaton, Nobel laureate, by Orazio Attanasio, Vox EU: Angus Deaton of Princeton University has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences ‘for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare’. This column outlines his key contributions.
Since the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession, the economic profession has been heavily criticised. Economists were not able to predict the events that took place after Lehman Brothers folded – and they were divided about the right response to the crisis. Since then in much of the media (both traditional and new), economists are often described at best as delusional types, living in a fantasy world described by abstract mathematical models where individuals are hyper-rational, and where markets are perfect and deliver the best possible outcomes. At worst, they are accused of defending the interests of greedy capitalists and multinationals.
The life’s work of Angus Deaton, which has earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics, is a demonstration of how the best economists cannot be caricatured in this way. His research has always been driven by real world problems of huge relevance for economic policy, development and progress and – at the same time –grounded in economic theory. His work has shown what economics and an economist can offer to the policy debate and to social sciences in general. His approach has never shied away from difficult problems and it has always stressed the importance of bringing economic theory to data. He has shown that economic models and economists’ insights are useful to the extent to which they can be brought to bear on real data.
Throughout his career, he has been the opposite of the insular economist, immersed in the abstract world of perfect markets and hyper-rational consumers. On the contrary, he has used insights from other disciplines and engaged in conversations and occasional collaborations with psychologists (such as Daniel Kahneman), epidemiologists (such as Michael Marmot) and philosophers (such as Nancy Cartwright). Finally, he has not shied away from taking controversial positions, which, however, were always grounded on research rather than ideology and/or political correctness.
Demand analysis...
Saving and intertemporal choices...
Development economics – demand, measurement, health and happiness...
Controversies...
Conclusion...

    Posted by on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 12:24 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (0)


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