Angus Deaton has made fundamental contributions to the theory of consumption, savings, and the measurement of economic wellbeing. The methods he developed are widely used in the analysis of consumer demand and the evaluation of welfare policy reforms. In particular he has shown how to better measure poverty and living standards, which are essential to evaluating the impact of economic policies on the poorest members of society.
Professor Deaton has made fundamental contributions to economics, most notably to the analysis of individual and household behavior. His research applies rigorous methods to important real-world issues. Throughout his career, his work has been characterized by an attempt to understand empirical evidence in terms of a clearly articulated theoretical structure or underlying mechanism.
He has been a pioneer in the analysis of individual consumption and saving behavior. He introduced what continues to be the most heavily used tool in the analysis of consumer demand and its applications to the welfare analysis of policy reforms.
Deaton has made pathbreaking contributions to development economics, focusing in particular on the living standards of the poor in the developing world. He has been a champion of household surveys in developing countries as an instrument for the better measurement of poverty and better understanding of poverty determinants. For example, Deaton has been working almost continuously over the last 25 years on the measurement of poverty in India, where his work has been very influential in the policy debate. His work also explains why poverty rates around the world fall less rapidly than might be expected from aggregate growth statistics.
He has recently worked extensively in health economics and development, contributing in particular to our understanding of the relationship between health and economic status and of the determinants of mortality.