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Great Immigrants

Angus Deaton
Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University | Nobel Prize in Economics
Born in:
Scotland

In 2015, three out of the four Americans awarded research Nobel Prizes were immigrants. Angus Deaton, that year’s Nobel laureate in economics, was born in Scotland in 1945 to parents whose own schooling had been cut short, and they were determined to ensure that their son had the opportunities denied to them. In 1983 Deaton joined the faculty of Princeton University, where he spent 33 years in the economics department and at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Known for his work in development economics, with a focus on poverty, inequality, health, and welfare, Deaton has recently argued that current measurements of global poverty do not fully capture the needs and plight of the poor in developed countries like the United States. Deaton and his wife, Princeton economist Anne Case, were included in Politico’s 2016 list of “50 thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming America’s politics” for their joint research on rising mortality rates among middle-aged white Americans due to drugs, alcohol, and suicide. That same year, Deaton, a dual U.S. and U.K. citizen, received a knighthood for his scholarship in economics and international affairs. In 2017 Deaton joined with 1,470 economists to sign a bipartisan letter arguing that “immigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy” and calling for legislation that “reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States.”