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Nobel goes to health care economist

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for economics to Angus Deaton, a Princeton University professor who has published many papers on the economics of health and aging.

Deaton suggested in one research summary, published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in 2003, that high-income people tend to be healthier than low-income people, but that they might be healthier because high-income people also tend to be better-educated. In that same summary, Deaton looks at research that touches on limitations on activities of daily living (ADLs) in adults in South Africa.

The results of adjusting health data for education levels suggest that high levels of income may correlate with higher levels of mortality, Deaton wrote.

See also: MIT economist studies real health care

In a formal research paper published in 2014, Deaton and a colleague looked at data on the well-being of elderly people who live with children under 18. Younger adults who live with children tend to experience happiness and enjoyment as a result of living with children as well as stress, worry and anger, but older adults who live with children tend to report experiencing only stress, worry and anger as a result, and no extra happiness or enjoyment, Deaton concluded.

In 1998, Deaton wrote an article on the relationship between aging and inequality in income and health with Christina Paxson. He noted that ADL surveys can be useful in measuring the health of older people but tend not to be as useful in rating the health of younger people.

Deaton, who was born Oct. 19, 1945 in Edinburgh, Scotland, started out working in the United Kingdom. He joined the faculty at Princeton in 1983.