The Latest: Deaton wasn't sure he would be picked for Nobel

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Posted: Oct 12, 2015 10:50 AM
The Latest: Deaton wasn't sure he would be picked for Nobel

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Latest developments in the announcements of the Nobel Prizes (all times local):

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4:40 p.m.

It was Angus Deaton's wife who answered the phone at 6:10 a.m. Monday and handed it to him. The voice on the other end told him the call was from Stockholm.

He says he knew what it was about but was still surprised to be named a Nobel Prize winner.

"I work on a lot of different things, and I always thought that would make it very difficult for the committee to pick me because they often focus on one deep thing," Deaton told The Associated Press.

He said that one thing he hopes people consider is the importance of measuring the world.

"We tend to think these numbers pop out. Thinking about numbers hard is one of the things I think is really important," he said.

He says he believes that poverty worldwide is declining, though knowing exactly how many poor people there are is difficult — and that the way to count it should not be just to look at incomes. He says health, education and democracy are also important measures of well-being.

Deaton is the fourth Princeton tenured faculty member to win in economics since 2002.

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4:35 p.m.

Development economist Jean Dreze, who has authored several papers with Nobel laureate Angus Deaton on poverty and nutrition in India, has praised his contribution to shaping economic policy in India.

"Angus Deaton is not only a brilliant economist but also a formidable scholar and a great writer. He has shown how intelligent use of survey data can illuminate momentous issues of human welfare and contribute to public reasoning," Dreze said from the Indian state of Jharkhand.

"Deaton's work has important implications not only for the substance of economic policy in India, but also for the process of policy-making," he added.

"On the substance, his work calls for significant rethinking of policy priorities, with much greater attention to the social sector in particular. On the process, Angus Deaton is very committed to the idea that public policy should be an outcome of democratic practice, as opposed, say, to professional expertise or randomized controlled trials. That, again, has significant implications since the Indian government is constantly trying to insulate economic policy from public debate."

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2:40 p.m.

Angus Deaton, who has been awarded the Nobel economics prize, is not afraid to wade into political controversy in his adopted home.

Twice a year, the Scotland-born Deaton who now has dual U.S.-British citizenship, writes a commentary on American affairs for Britain's Royal Economic Society.

He has challenged Republican attempts to replace President Barack Obama's health care laws and lamented the inability of the American political system to do much about the widening income gap between the rich and everyone else.

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2:05 p.m.

The secretary of the award committee for the Nobel economics prize says this year's winner has helped researchers understand individual consumption choices and how they flow through an economy.

Torsten Persson said Monday that Angus Deaton's work has had "enormous influence," notably in India where the government has reshaped its measurement of poverty.

At the same time, Persson said Deaton's work has had a "huge influence" in the academic community, again by reshaping various branches of economics — "micro, macro and development economics."

He said "it is in an important prize in that it highlights applied economics at its very best."

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1:35 p.m.

The winner of this year's Nobel economics prize says he expects extreme poverty in the world to continue decreasing, but that he isn't "blindly optimistic."

Angus Deaton, the Scotland-born economist who holds both U.S. and British citizenship, says he is delighted to have been awarded the prize and was pleased that the committee decided to award work that concerns the poor people of the world.

Speaking over the telephone to reporters at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences following the announcement of his award, the Princeton professor noted "tremendous health problems among adults and children in India, where there has been a lot of progress."

He notes that half of the children in India are "still malnourished" and "for many people in the world, things are very bad indeed."

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1:10 p.m.

Scotland-born Angus Deaton has won the Nobel memorial prize in economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored Deaton, a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton, "for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare."

The Nobel committees have now announced all six of the annual 8 million Swedish kronor (about $975,000) awards.

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9:35 a.m.

The winner or winners of this year's Nobel economics prize will be announced at 11 a.m. GMT by a committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

Last year, French economist Jean Tirole won the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $975,000) award for his research on market power and regulation.

The revelation follows announcements last week of the winners of the Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace.

The economics award is not a Nobel Prize in the same sense as the others, which were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895.

Sweden's central bank added the economics prize in 1968 as a memorial to Nobel.