A life in economics (Angus Deaton edition)

The “Nobel Prize” in economics–or the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2015–is perhaps the most prestigious award in all of the social sciences. Previous winners include our intellectual heroes Thomas Schelling, Ronald Coase, and John Nash. This year’s Nobel in economics was awarded to one Angus Deaton “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” Check out Professor Deaton’s beautiful autobiographical essay “Puzzles and paradoxes: a life in applied economics.” Here is an excerpt:

It has been a good time to spend a life in economics. Compared with many others, the profession is remarkably open to talent, and remarkably free of the nepotism and patronage that is common in professions in which jobs are scarce. It is also a profession that, deservedly on undeservedly, is very well- rewarded. The best gifts of a profession are the people it brings, to talk to, to work with, to be mentored by, and to make friends with. I have been truly fortunate in this respect. * * * Many of my oldest and best friends, many of them also mentors, have come to me through economics. Through economics too, I met my wife, Anne Case, and our personal and professional lives are almost entirely integrated; Anne is my critic, my colleague and coauthor, and my friend. * * *

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