Angus Deaton update

by on October 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm in Economics | Permalink

1 Thomas October 12, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Thomas was here.

2 Mark Thorson October 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

He was on PBS newshour tonight, and he mentioned he didn’t consider the possibility it was a prank until the caller said “This is not a prank.”.

I wonder how many econ pranks there were yesterday evening. 🙂

3 Martin October 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

You can’t delete the truth, and the truth is that Angus Deaton did not win a Nobel Prize, because there is no Nobel Prize in economics. Deaton won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which was created by Sweden’s Central Bank in 1969 against the wishes of the Nobel family.

4 wwebd October 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Not only that but he appears to lack the common touch. Maybe next year.

5 Cowboydroid October 12, 2015 at 9:44 pm

A prize in economics given out by a central bank is like a prize in a hot dog eating contest given out by Oscar Meyer.

6 consuelo October 13, 2015 at 12:04 am

Or like a prize in a rimjob contest given out by antiviral drug makers.

7 Idea Oat October 12, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Let’s do a Kickstarter to endow Prize in Memory of Someone Impeccable in Service of Our Bias.

What was Alex’s favorite drummer, the one for Rush? Name it for him. Oh he’s not dead yet, this is not Spinal Tap. Ahead of my time.

8 JCW October 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm

The “it’s not a Nobel Prize!” posts get more hilarious every year.

9 carlolspln October 13, 2015 at 12:12 am

Because you’re a wiener man? 😉

10 Ray Lopez October 13, 2015 at 5:40 am

Yeah, didn’t they do a cartoon about a troll saying ‘it’s not a Nobel Prize’?

11 Ray Lopez October 13, 2015 at 5:43 am
12 Ted October 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm
13 leppa October 13, 2015 at 1:25 am

Fascinating.Thanks for the link.

14 rayward October 13, 2015 at 6:44 am

Deaton: “I understood that economics was about three things: theory that specified mechanisms and stories about how the world worked, and how things might be linked together; evidence that
could be interpreted in terms of the theory, or that seemed to contradict it, or was just puzzling; and writing (whose importance is much understated in economics) that could explain mechanisms in a way that made them compelling, or that could draw out the lessons that were learned from the combination of theory and evidence.” [That’s from Deaton’s essay at Ted’s link.] I especially like “theory that specified . . . stories about how the world worked . . . .” Theory as a story, not something handed down from the divine. Priceless!

15 rayward October 13, 2015 at 7:39 am

Deaton’s Theory of Relativity explains a lot about well-being, not just in the developmental economics context (i.e., that a poor person in a poor country can be very happy if she is rich relative to her neighbors). It also explains a lot about unhappiness in America: being bombarded with messages for goods that are unobtainable to most people makes them unhappy. Psychologists tell us that kids who spend lots on time on Facebook are unhappy because they feel inadequate relative to their “friends” on Facebook. Flaunting wealth makes everyone else unhappy. And “wealth” in this sense means more than just money. For example, my Godson’s friend’s mother flaunts her son ‘s acceptance at Yale, making all the other kids (and their parents) unhappy. Average is underrated. When I was a child, America was a lot less affluent (and more equal), and it seemed we were all average: average in terms of wealth, average in terms of ability, average in terms of ambition (State U being more than acceptable), and average in terms of happiness. We all got along because we were essentially the same. Average. Today, average is over (as Cowen likes to remind us): it’s the 1%, in wealth, intelligence, ambition, education, that matter, the rest of us destined to a life of relative failure and unhappiness. Deaton’s insight (happiness is relative) seems obvious, yet developmental economists didn’t think of it, focusing instead on absolute measures of wealth (and happiness). It also helps explain Deaton’s concern about excessive inequality: an unequal society is an unhappy (and, hence, less productive) society.

16 Dude October 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

Link to an article about guns and the comments section explodes.

Post about the economics nobel winner? Yawn.

MR, so funny.

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