Angus Deaton, a professor at Princeton University, has won the Nobel Prize in economics for his research into how rich and poor people make decisions about how much to buy and how much to save.

The Nobel Prize committee said it was awarding Deaton the prize "for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare." His theories have influenced how economists think and conduct their research — helping bridge the divide between those who study the choices of individuals and those who study the greater economic forces that shape countries.

"He has consistently tried to bring theory and data closer together through his mastery of measurement and statistical methods," the committee wrote in its announcement of the prize.

Deaton is also significant for his research on poverty in developing countries, often in conjunction with the World Bank.

His work on surveying poor households, investigating malnutrition and whether parents discriminate between boys and girls — has helped economists better understand the lives of those who live on less than a dollar a day.

On the other hand, the evidence does not support the hypothesis that malnutrition explains poverty. In other words, malnutrition is largely the consequence of a low income, not vice versa.

"I'm so delighted, not just for myself, but that this sort of work is being recognized," Deaton said Monday, phoning into a press event.

Asked about the refugee crisis sweeping Europe, Deaton expressed sympathy for those who have been uprooted by poverty and war. "What we're seeing now is the result of hundreds of years of unequal development in the rich world, which has left a lot of the world behind," he said.

The Nobel Prize in economics comes with an award of about $976,000, and most winners have been American. Edinburgh-born Deaton has joint British and U.S. citizenship. In 2014, economist Jean Tirole of France won the prize for research into market power and regulation

Courtesy Washington Post