Whether the subject is longevity, fertility, or individual life courses, demographic research is always based on the sound analysis of population data. The Laboratory of Statistical Demography helps researchers apply the most advanced statistical methods to their data, tailoring these methods to fit their needs, or inventing new ones, if required. The results are cutting-edge statistical methodologies and software that leads to scientific advancements, even in other areas of research.
Demographic research not only aims to understand the status quo but commonly also investigates change: Development over the individual life course in educational and family careers, changes of health and behavior with age or mobility over time. Such questions require longitudinal data which come with particular complications such as selective drop-out of individuals, dependencies between different processes (for example labor market and family formation), censored or truncated data, and the relevance of different time scales, such as age and calendar time. Consequently, only accurate statistical modeling allows to recover the essential information in an unbiased way.
The members of the Laboratory of Statistical Demography develop and apply new approaches and techniques to address problems as the ones outlined above. Research topics include multistate models, dependent longitudinal processes, simultaneous consideration of several time scales, and the correct handling of complex longitudinal observation schemes. Subsequent projections based on longitudinal models is another area of research.
Researchers of the Laboratory also contribute to the educational programs the Institute is involved in (the International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science, the International Advanced Studies in Demography, and the European Doctoral School for Demography), and thus promote the use of up-to-date statistical methods in demographic research.