Professor Paul Allanson


Business Office, School of Business

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+44 (0)1382 384377


I am a Professor of Economics in the School of Business. I am a graduate of Newcastle University with a PhD in agricultural economics from Manchester University. I was formerly Lord Richard Percy Fellow in the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle, co-editing an influential book on the rural economy and the British countryside. I was appointed to a lectureship at Dundee in 1995 and promoted to a personal chair in 2014.

Areas of expertise

  • Health inequalities
  • Income redistribution
  • Social Mobility


My major research interests lie in the area of applied microeconomics with a particular focus on the empirical analysis of welfare and inequality issues in a number of distinct fields of economic inquiry.  A common theme linking much of my work is the development and application of modelling frameworks to enhance understanding of the distributional implications of economic policies and societal change.

An agricultural economist by training, I have an established profile within this field for my work on the economic welfare of the farming community and the redistributive impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy.  More broadly, since moving to Dundee, I have also published on the evolution of the racial wage hierarchy in the South African labour market; imperfect competition among multiproduct firms; and the characterisation and measurement of income mobility as a process of distributional transformation. 

However, the main focus of my research over the past 15 years has been on the relationship between health outcomes and sociodemographic characteristics including age, sex, educational attainment and socioeconomic status. The importance of this topic stems from the increasing recognition among policy makers that reductions in health inequalities will not be achieved through health policies and health care systems alone but will require action across the whole range of public policies that impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.  

Much of my work in this field seeks to develop longitudinal or follow-up methods to determine whether health inequalities primarily arise from chronic or transient patterns of social disadvantage, to monitor and explain changes in health inequalities over time, and to evaluate interventions designed to tackle health inequalities. A second major contribution has been the establishment of a framework for the comparative analysis of ordinal health and wellbeing outcomes between population subgroups.  An extension of this work to the comparative evaluation of the performance of healthcare organisations proposes novel stratification indices to capture the scale of the postcode lottery faced by patients as a result of the geographical variation in the quality of healthcare services. Elimination of this postcode lottery would provide a measurable, policy-relevant objective to the extent that discrimination between patients on the basis of where they live is due to factors within the control of the national health service.  

I am a founding member of Scottish Health Economics (SHE), which is a collaboration of health economists from Scotland’s Universities, NHS and Government and aims to support, promote and further develop health economics in Scotland by bringing together researchers and users of health economics to explore the development and application of health economics in Scotland.  I have also served on the Scientific Review Panel for successive iHEA World Congresses.

View full research profile and publications


  • Economic Policy
  • Econometrics
  • Applied Research Methods