Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Mathematics

Visiting Professor







Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

13 results found

Allin P, Hand DJ, 2021, Building back better needs better use of statistics., Signif (Oxf), Vol: 18, Pages: 44-45, ISSN: 1740-9705

Paul Allin and David J. Hand call for official statistics to take centre stage.

Journal article

Hantrais L, Allin P, Kritikos M, Sogomonjan M, Anand PB, Livingstone S, Williams M, Innes Met al., 2020, Covid-19 and the digital revolution, Contemporary Social Science, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 2158-2041

Since the 1980s, the digital revolution has been both a negative and positive force. Within a few weeks of the Covid-19 outbreak, lockdown accelerated the adoption of digital solutions at an unprecedented pace, creating unforeseen opportunities for scaling up alternative approaches to social and economic life. But it also brought digital risks and threats that placed new demands on policymakers. This article assembles evidence from different areas of social science expertise about the impacts of Covid-19 in digitised societies and policy responses. The authors show how the pandemic supported changes in data collection techniques and dissemination practices for official statistics, and how seemingly insuperable obstacles to the implementation of e-health treatments were largely overcome. They demonstrate how the ethics of artificial intelligence became a primary concern for government legislation at national and international levels, and how the features enabling smart cities to act as drivers of productivity did not necessarily give them an advantage during the pandemic. At the micro-level, families are shown to have become ‘digital by default’, as children were exposed to online risks and opportunities. Globally, the spread of the pandemic provided a fertile ground for cybercrime, while digital disinformation and influencing risked becoming normalised and domesticated.

Journal article

VanderWeele TJ, Trudel-Fitzgerald C, Allin P, Farrelly C, Fletcher G, Frederick DE, Hall J, Helliwell JF, Kim ES, Lauinger WA, Lee MT, Lyubomirsky S, Margolis S, McNeely E, Tay L, Viswanath V, Weziak-Bialowolska D, Kubzansky LDet al., 2020, Brief well-being assessments, or nothing at all?, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, Vol: 135, ISSN: 0091-7435

Journal article

VanderWeele TJ, Trudel-Fitzgerald C, Allin P, Farrelly C, Fletcher G, Frederick DE, Hall J, Helliwell JF, Kim ES, Lauinger WA, Lee MT, Lyubomirsky S, Margolis S, McNeely E, Messer N, Tay L, Viswanath V, Weziak-Bialowolska D, Kubzansky LDet al., 2020, Current recommendations on the selection of measures for well-being, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, Vol: 133, ISSN: 0091-7435

Journal article

Allin P, 2019, Opportunities and challenges for official statistics in a digital society, Contemporary Social Science, Vol: 16, Pages: 156-169, ISSN: 2158-2041

National systems of official statistics are expected to provide governments, businesses and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. Digitisation of data collection for official statistics is mooted as having a major potential impact on society. Greater use of administrative data held in government is proceeding slowly. Evidence is limited, but access to big data − from satellites, point-of-sale systems and social media − is being explored and trialled. Initiatives are driven by new requirements for official statistics as well as pressures on traditional data collection from households and businesses. Effective government use of new data sources has the possibility of creating the ultimate evidence base for policies intended to improve lives, and anonymised data are also being made available to other researchers. The article uses the UK as a case study to outline how the big data evidence-to-policy process is intended to work in that context, and to assess the challenges faced in making it work as intended. We conclude that technical developments need to be accompanied throughout with attention to the marketing of official statistics and engagement with all users and potential users. The goal is to produce trusted as well as trustworthy statistics.

Journal article

Allin P, Hand DJ, 2017, From a system of national accounts to a process of national wellbeing accounting, International Statistical Review, Vol: 85, Pages: 355-370, ISSN: 1751-5823

There are repeated calls to go “Beyond GDP”, for measures of wellbeing and progress in addition to those that the System of National Accounts (SNA) is designed to provide. We identify key issues that can help build on the rigour of SNA whilst fitting the measurement of economic performance within a broader assessment of national wellbeing and progress. Such drivers are already leading to a proliferation of indicators and accounts, for example in the development of non-monetary measures of natural resources. There are significant measurement challenges, not least the question of whether a single, overall measure or index of wellbeing is valid. But the challenge of measurement, per se, is one thing: in our view, a more critical issue is whether the measures will actually be used. We propose a dynamic and multi-staged approach for developing SNA, embracing the production and use of measures. This would start by identifying user requirements for wider measures, to provide the basis for national and cross-national developments in wellbeing accounting. We envisage greater branding and marketing of national wellbeing concepts to promote measures and support their use. We call for outreach by producers, so that there is dialogue about the development and use of measures.

Journal article

Allin P, Hand DJ, 2017, New statistics for old? -measuring the wellbeing of the UK, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A - Statistics in Society, Vol: 180, Pages: 3-43, ISSN: 0964-1998

Attempts to create measures of national wellbeing and progress have a long history. Inthe UK, they go back at least as far as the 1790s, with Sir John Sinclair’s Statistical Accountof Scotland. More recently, worldwide interest has led to the creation of a number of indicesseeking to go beyond familiar economic measures like GDP. We review the MeasuringNational Well-being development programme of the UK’s Office for National Statistics, andexplore some of the challenges which need to be faced to bring wider measures into use.These include: the importance of getting the measures adopted as policy drivers; how tochallenge the continuing dominance of economic measures; sustainability and environmentalissues; international comparability; and methodological statistical questions.

Journal article

Allin P, 2015, English cultural policy: Is well-being the goal?, CULTURAL TRENDS, Vol: 24, Pages: 15-20, ISSN: 0954-8963

Journal article

Allin P, Hand DJ, 2014, The Wellbeing of Nations Meaning, Motive and Measurement, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 9781118489574

Slowly we are learning to better count what really matters in our lives. This book explains the international collaboration behind this new learning and moves it far forward.


Allin P, 2014, Measuring Wellbeing in Modern Societies, Work and Wellbeing, Editors: Chen, Cooper, Chichester, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Pages: 409-463, ISBN: 978-1-118-60836-4

Highlights the role of governments in promoting the wellbeing and happiness of citizens, drawing on the UK government policy scene and the measuring national wellbeing programme of the Office for National Statistics. Knowing the level of natinoal wellbeing and its impacts not only informs policy makers about what really matters to the citizens they work for, but also offers directions and actions to address barries to improved wellbeing.

Book chapter

Hicks S, Tinkler L, Allin P, 2013, Measuring Subjective Well-Being and its Potential Role in Policy: Perspectives from the UK Office for National Statistics, SOCIAL INDICATORS RESEARCH, Vol: 114, Pages: 73-86, ISSN: 0303-8300

Journal article

Allin P, From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing Changing Statistics or Changing Lives?, Publisher: Springer Nature, ISBN: 9783030530853

Changing Statistics Or Changing Lives? ... commitment of every member country in the UN to transforming our world, through a 15-year programme for sustainable development, led us to our main title—From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing.


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