Angus Deaton update


Thomas was here.

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. :-)

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.

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

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.

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

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.

The "it's not a Nobel Prize!" posts get more hilarious every year.

Because you're a wiener man? ;)

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

For context:

Deaton on Deaton

Fascinating.Thanks for the link.

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!

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.

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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