Paper forthcoming in Demographic Research (again!)

Yes, we have another paper coming soon, this one with a rather methodological/philosophical bent, called Quantifying Paradigm Change in Demography.  This was a collaborative piece of work with eminent French demographer Daniel Courgeau and philosopher of science Robert Franck (check out their 2007 book) focused on the development of a new research paradigm in the field of demography.

Demography is a field with a long history, dating back to the 17th century.  In those 350 years, we have seen the field progress through a series of paradigmatic shifts, from early efforts in period analysis through to more modern efforts in multilevel modelling and microsimulation.  Most recently, we have seen a great deal of interest in agent-based simulation techniques, which many hope will allow demography to uncover the ‘micro-macro link’ — the processes by which individual behaviours produce higher-level social complexity.

In this paper we analyse the demographic literature to delineate when these changes occurred and uncover how the field itself has evolved in response to new challenges.  This started as a side-project within an ongoing research effort, intended for Population and Development Review, and blossomed into a separate piece of research.

This paper was accepted shortly before Christmas, and just a few days ago we submitted the final version, which will be edited and published in late February/early March.

Next the four of us will be submitting both that paper for PDR and a short paper for the upcoming agent-based modelling workshop in Leuven in September.

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