Nobel Prize for former high school pupil

Professor Angus Denton
Professor Angus Denton

A former high school pupil, who now teaches at a top American university, has won this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics.

Angus Deaton was brought up in Bowden but attended the Hawick High for two years, taking the train into Hawick each day.

Born in Edinburgh in 1945, Professor Deaton has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his “analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare”, according to awarding organisation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

To give him his full title, Professor Deaton, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, is the 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, where his main areas of research have been in health, wellbeing and economic development.

His current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries, and speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Deaton recalled his time in the town: “I did go to Hawick High School from 1957 to 59 and it was terrific in many ways, and very important to what happened to me later. I was immensely lucky in the teachers I had there. And loved riding the Waverley Line to school each day. I worked in the Pringle’s factory as a summer job.”

Mr Deaton is related to Ex-Cornet Danny Nuttall and he added: “Danny Nuttall was a clerk of works at Pringle’s and was much involved in their golfing events. His son David, who died earlier this year, was close to me in age and was at Hawick High School with me.

“Danny’s wife Effie was my mother’s sister, and worked in one of the mills. They lived opposite the Teviot down a close from the High Street, right in the middle of town. I used to go there for lunch from the high school every day, and there was always a collection of friends there, so it was fun. My aunt was wonderfully kind to me, and very motherly.”

And on the Nobel award, which includes prize money of eight million Swedish kronor (£637,000), Mr Deaton added: “It continues a distinguished tradition of economics in Scotland and one of the joys, for me, is to have this Scottish connection.”