The world is a better place than it used to be. People are wealthier and healthier, and live longer lives. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many have left gaping inequalities between people and between nations. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton–one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty–tells the remarkable story of how, starting 250 years ago, some parts of the world began to experience sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today’s hugely unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and he addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.
Deaton describes vast innovations and wrenching setbacks: the successes of antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water on the one hand, and disastrous famines and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the other. He examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality. He also considers how economic growth in India and China has improved the lives of more than a billion people. Deaton argues that international aid has been ineffective and even harmful. He suggests alternative efforts–including reforming incentives to drug companies and lifting trade restrictions–that will allow the developing world to bring about its own Great Escape.
Demonstrating how changes in health and living standards have transformed our lives, The Great Escape is a powerful guide to addressing the well-being of all nations.
Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His many books include The Analysis of Household Surveys and Economics and Consumer Behavior. He is a past president of the American Economic Association.
“There is nobody better than Angus Deaton to explain why our lives are longer, healthier, and more prosperous than those of our great-grandparents. The story he tells is much more than an inexorable march of progress–it has also been unequal, uneven, and incomplete, and at each step, politics has played a defining role. This is a must-read for anybody interested in the wealth and health of nations.”–Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail
“At once engaging and compassionate, this is an uplifting story by a major scholar.”–Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion
“Magisterial and superb.”–William Easterly, author of The White Man’s Burden
“The Great Escape tells the two biggest stories in history: how humanity got healthy and wealthy, and why some people got so much healthier and wealthier than others. Angus Deaton, one of the world’s leading development economists, takes us on an extraordinary journey–from an age when almost everyone was poor and sick to one where most people have escaped these evils–and he tells us how the billion still trapped in extreme poverty can join in this great escape. Everyone who wants to understand the twenty-first century should read this book.”–Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules–for Now
About Angus Deaton:
- Expertise: health, wellbeing, economic development, household surveys, the analysis of household behavior (especially at the microeconomic level), poverty in India and around the world
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University
- Holds both American and British citizenship
- Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in 2012
- Was President of the American Economic Association in 2009
- First recipient of the Society’s Frisch Medal in 1978
- Holds a B.A. (1967), M.A. (1971), and Ph.D (1974) from Cambridge University
- Author of The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality
- BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance, and Management, 2012
- Honorary Doctor of Economics, University of Cyprus, 2012
- Honorary Doctor of Science in Social Science, Edinburgh University, 2011
- Hicks Lecture, Economics, Oxford, 2011
- Stone Lecture, Department of Economics, Cambridge, 2010
- Foundation Lecture, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, 2010
- Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2010
- Distinguished Fellow, American Economic Association, 2010
- President, American Economic Association, 2009
- Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, May 2009
- John Kenneth Galbraith Award, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Foundation, July 2009
- Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of St. Andrews, June 2008
To read more about Angus Deaton, visit his Author Spotlight biography: http://blog.press.princeton.edu/angus-deaton-2/