This is the website for Eco 572, Research Methods in Demography,
as taught in the Spring of 2006.
Registered students will find the syllabus and additional materials on the blackboard site
at this link Eco 572- Spring 2006.
New: I updated the Lee-Carter log for use in a guest lecture in the Spring of 2009.
Most of these handouts show how to use Stata in demographic analysis. Students who are new to Stata may find my Stata tutorial useful. In the last three sections I use Stata's matrix programming language to do the calculations, but whenever possible I also provide an alternative approach that uses plain Stata.
1. Rates and Standardization
Here's a Stata handout on Growth Rates and Doubling Time, which we discussed in the first class, followed by one on Rates and Standardization, where we discuss direct and indirect standardization and the decomposition of differences in rates, the subjects of our second meeting. (This handout has been rewritten to de-emphasize programming Stata; we now compute all rates as weighted means using standard commands.)
2. Interpolation and Graduation
On week 2 we start with age heaping and Myer's index
before we enter the wonderful world of splines.
To learn about running means, running lines, and all sorts of splines, read the first
6 pages of a statistical demography handout on Smoothing and
The applications start with running means and lines,
and continue with
regression splines and
3. Life Tables
How fast do we age? We fit a Gompertz curve to adult mortality in the U.S.. We work with male survival and invite you to do the same calculations for females. We have an illustration of Brass's relational logit model, and an application of Cox regression to the cancer relapse data we used for Kaplan-Meier.
5. Unobserved Heterogeneity
Read this handout on unobserved heterogeneity as an alternative to the paper in the reading list. (Focus on gamma heterogeneity and the inversion formula). The illustration deals with heterogeneity and mortality cross-overs.
6. Competing Risks
We go over the example in the textbook working with multiple-decrement and cause-deleted life tables, including a simplified approach that assumes constant risks within each age group. The promised handout on contraceptive discontinuation is now available.
Spring is in the air and we turn to a study of marrriage. The handout covers current status life tables, with applications to nuptiality and duration of breastfeeding. And here's the application of the Coale-McNeil and Hernes models of marriage. (The Stata functions used are documented here. These are also used in the next section.)
8. Fertility RatesWe start our study of fertility computing age-specific fertility rates from survey data using an exact and an approximate method. We then apply Page's model to study fertility by age and duration since first union in urban and rural areas.
9. Birth Intervals
Here's a bith intervals analysis of the transition from second to third birth in Colombia in 1976 by childhood place of residence. I include illustrative computations of quintums and trimeans and, for good measure, a proportional hazards model.
10. Tempo Effects
To provide some background for our discussion of tempo effects on fertility and mortality, here's an analysis of U.S. fertility 1917-1980, including an application of Ryder's translation formula and the Bongaarts-Feeney tempo adjustment.
11. Population Projections
The handouts include an application of the cohort component method to the Swedish data in the textbook using a Leslie matrix, and an examination of key aspects of the Lee-Carter approach to forecasting mortality, with an application of the singular value decomposition to U.S. data for 1933-1987 and a simulation of stochastic forecasts. (Updated in 2009. The old version is here.)