Wellbeing in Politics and Policy

From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing

Changing Statistics or Changing Lives?

Authors: Allin, Paul, Hand, David J.

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  • Argues that official statistics are not living up to the promise that they should be indispensable in democratic society
     
    Explores the function and use of official statistics, drawing on experience of UK and European statistical systems
     
    Asks how national statistics offices can better engage with the public, businesses, and civil society

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eBook £35.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-53085-3
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  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £44.99
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About this book

This book is about the function and use of official statistics. It welcomes the aspiration for official statistics to be an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. The book identifies the political role of official statisticians, who decided what gets measured as well as how it is measured. While thousands of official statistics are published every year, and some are quoted by politicians, used by policy-makers or reported in the media, the authors observe that, in the main, official statistics do not feature much in everyday lives of people and businesses. The book concludes with suggestions for more that should be done, especially in the context of improving wellbeing and helping meet the worldwide set of sustainable development goals set for 2030.

About the authors

Paul Allin is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, UK, researching the use of wellbeing measures. He was previously a Statistician, Researcher and Policy Analyst in various UK government departments and agencies, including directing the Measuring National Wellbeing programme at the Office for National Statistics. He is the author, with David Hand, of The Wellbeing of Nations (2014). 

David Hand is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and a Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London, UK, where he previously chaired the Statistics Section. He has served as President of the Royal Statistical Society and is on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. He is the author of over 300 scientific papers and 30 books, including Measurement Theory and Practice (2010), The Improbability Principle (2015) and Dark Data (2020). 





Reviews

“This is not just another book about Statistics. This remarkable book shows the importance of having reliable and trustworthy statistics, if used and useful, for improving our collective wellbeing. For that purpose, the authors share with us a deep analysis about how to capture the complexity of the world we live in and proposals for having more relevant statistics, helping policy makers, organizations or citizens to make well informed decisions on behalf of a better society.”—Maria João Valente Rosa, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa Portugal, and member of the European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC) “Over the last decade there has been growing interest in moving beyond GDP as a measure of society's welfare. Allin and Hand have made an important contribution to this debate, charting a course for public statistics which would make them better understood and trusted. Their book should be essential reading for statisticians and policy makers alike.”—Nick Macpherson, economist and Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury, 2005-2016 “I liked this: ‘Official statistics are intended to serve everyone, both the governed and the government, providing a trusted set of information that all parties and sections of society can use.’ And this is at the heart of wellbeing measurement and policy. This is information about ‘how we are doing’ and of social welfare. It's the shared evidence base of all departments, all public sector bodies, all electoral candidates, all sectors, all communities have to make their choices from, about where we're going and what we are doing to get there. The book is an essential part of the policy making curriculum.”—Nancy Hey, Executive Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, UK “Governments need information on which to develop and evidence policy decisions; and in many countries National Statistical Institutes (NSI) are charged with producing much of that information. Society, and the aspirations of citizens, change over time and so it is essential that NSIs respond by being in a permanent state of change in the production of statistics. Even so, too often the discourse between governments and NSIs is linear rather than interactive and so the impact of statistics on policy is not as great as it should be. This excellent book brings clarity to the need for NSIs to be responsive both to changes in society and to the opportunities that improved technology brings; and reflects impressively on strategies to maximise the impact of statistics on policy.”—Ian Diamond, UK National Statistician

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £35.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53085-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £44.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing
Book Subtitle
Changing Statistics or Changing Lives?
Authors
Series Title
Wellbeing in Politics and Policy
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53085-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53085-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53084-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 144
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics