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Angus Deaton Wins 2014 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought

Jun 28, 2013

The Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University has announced that Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of International Affairs and professor of economics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, has been named the co-recipient of the 2014 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.   Joining Deaton as a co-recipient of the prize will be James K. Galbraith, the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

The 2014 award is titled “Inequality and Well-Being in an Age of Instability,” and it recognizes the contributions that “these researchers have made to the studies of poverty, inequality, and well-being. They have both played a critical role in bringing grounded empirical analysis to bear on topics in need of applied interdisciplinary research.”

In a statement announcing the 2014 award co-winners, GDAE co-director Neva Goodwin said that, “For too long many economists have viewed rising inequality as an inevitable consequence of economic development.   But recent economic upheavals call for a new approach to understanding the causes and consequences of inequality. Angus Deaton has demonstrated that inequality is about much more than income differences, focusing on how inequality affects the health and well-being of societies. James Galbraith has shown that inequality isn’t an outcome driven by factors outside of our control, but instead is often a direct result of the policy choices we make.”

The announcement noted that, “Deaton's research areas include health, economic development, and the analysis of household behavior, especially at the microeconomic level. His current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries, as well as on the measurement of poverty in India and around the world. His book, ‘The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality,’ is scheduled for publication in September 2013.”

“This is a well-deserved honor for Angus, and on behalf of the Woodrow Wilson School I would like to extend our heartiest congratulations,” said Wilson School Dean Cecilia Rouse. “He is one of the most globally respected figures in the field of economics. His groundbreaking research on income and health and wellbeing, as well as on poverty and inequality has been an inspiration for countless economists.” 

Established by GDAE in 2000, the Leontief Prize, in memory of Wassily Leontief, is designed to “recognize outstanding contributions to economic theory that address contemporary realities and support just and sustainable societies.” Previous recipients include Amartya Sen, John Kenneth Galbraith, Daniel Kahneman and Albert Hirschman.