December 4, 2005

How to use variable-rate stuff in individual-level analyses?

Reading is the theme for me for the last week—reading student work, a minor truckload of submissions that came in recently for EPAA, and some other stuff. In about an hour, I'll drive down to where my children are in the last chess tournament for the year, so there isn't enough time to get into the databases I just got permission to use (or rather, an IRB exemption because they're anonymous data).

But after writing about growth earlier this week (if this is the end of the week), I've been thinking about the use of so-called variable-rate demographic models for populations. (See that entry's reference to a Preston et al. text, which has the relevant citations. Yes, I took several courses from Sam Preston at Penn. He's a very smart mortality expert, and I love taking advantage of his and others' work.)

Can I use that same principle for analyzing individual-level data? Is it possible to take population-based information on age-varying rates for a parameter (say, school attendance) and use that in an analysis of cross-sectional data (e.g., the annual current population survey), to partially eliminate the conflation of age- and cohort-related effects on the item of interest?

Once again, an idea hits at the end of a semester. Ai!

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Posted in Research on December 4, 2005 3:16 PM |