We’ve never had it so good!

Michael Roberts Blog

The Nobel prize for economics this year went to Scottish Princeton University professor, Angus Deaton.  Of course, this is not really a Nobel prize as it is an invention by the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, and has become a ‘Nobel’ prize. But leaving aside the controversy over whether it should be called a Nobel prize and whether all these mainstream neoclassical economists should keep winning it, what does Angus Deaton have to offer?

He is an expert on world poverty, the consumption patterns of households and how to measure them.  The media coverage of Deaton’s work is keen to emphasise that he shows that humankind have never had it so good in 2015 under the capitalist mode of production. As one commentator put it: “Deaton’s central message is deeply positive, almost gloriously so. By the most meaningful measures — how long we live, how healthy and happy we are…

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