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Clive Crook

Humility and Self-Restraint Make a Nobel Winner

It also helps that Angus Deaton is a good writer.
Well deserved.

Well deserved.

Photographer: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

I can't think of a more deserving winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize for economics than Angus Deaton. Indeed the award, in my view, was seriously overdue. But it's important to understand that Deaton isn't just an outstanding social scientist by the narrow standards of academic excellence. He's an exemplary scholar in other ways too.

The day before the award was announced, in a review of Dani Rodrik's fine new book, "Economics Rules," I complained about the role that economics and economists play in contemporary public-policy debate. The piece didn't name any standard-bearers for what I'd call public-policy economics done right. If it had, the name at the top of my list would have been Angus Deaton.