Monday, October 12, 2015

"Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton shares 3 big ideas"

Yeah, so what's a Scotsman know about economics?
From the Financial Times:
Angus Deaton has won this year’s Nobel Prize in economics for a string of landmark findings on the study of consumption, which have shaped policy and academic studies across the world.
From global inequality to foreign aid, the 69-year old Scottish academic has displayed little hesitation in wading into sensitive debates that are linked to his 40-years-long research agenda. 
Hours after receiving the news of his award, Mr Deaton shared with the Financial Times his sometimes controversial views on three of his biggest topics. 
InequalityFrom the rise of leftwing populists such as Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the unlikely popular success of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century , inequality has become one of the defining issues of this decade. 
Mr Deaton agrees it is important, but also has a more nuanced view than some of his colleagues who have also studied economic disparities. 
“Inequality is an enormously complicated thing, that is both good and bad,” he says.
The Princeton academic believes that excess inequality can produce some negative side effects, ranging from the demise of public services to the erosion of democracy. But at the same time, inequalities can also be a product of success, for example when they are the result of successful entrepreneurship. 
“Success breeds inequality, and you don’t want to choke off success,” he adds.
He is also sceptical of measures such as very high income tax rates as an antidote to growing disparities. 
“We already have redistributive policies in place,” he says. “Putting, say, an 85 per cent income tax rate is unlikely to bring in much revenue.” 
Foreign aidDevelopment economics has been dominated by a controversy over the effectiveness of foreign aid, with some, including William Easterly, an academic at New York University, arguing that it may do more harm than good....MORE