4,539 research outputs found

    EI: A Program for Ecological Inference

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    The program EI provides a method of inferring individual behavior from aggregate data. It implements the statistical procedures, diagnostics, and graphics from the book A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem: Reconstructing Individual Behavior from Aggregate Data (King'97). Ecological inference, as traditionally defined, is the process of using aggregate (i.e., "ecological") data to infer discrete individual-level relationships of interest when individual-level data are not available. Ecological inferences are required in political science research when individual-level surveys are unavailable (e.g., local or comparative electoral politics), unreliable (racial politics), insufficient (political geography), or infeasible (political history). They are also required in numerous areas of ma jor significance in public policy (e.g., for applying the Voting Rights Act) and other academic disciplines ranging from epidemiology and marketing to sociology and quantitative history.

    Verbal Autopsy Methods with Multiple Causes of Death

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    Verbal autopsy procedures are widely used for estimating cause-specific mortality in areas without medical death certification. Data on symptoms reported by caregivers along with the cause of death are collected from a medical facility, and the cause-of-death distribution is estimated in the population where only symptom data are available. Current approaches analyze only one cause at a time, involve assumptions judged difficult or impossible to satisfy, and require expensive, time-consuming, or unreliable physician reviews, expert algorithms, or parametric statistical models. By generalizing current approaches to analyze multiple causes, we show how most of the difficult assumptions underlying existing methods can be dropped. These generalizations also make physician review, expert algorithms and parametric statistical assumptions unnecessary. With theoretical results, and empirical analyses in data from China and Tanzania, we illustrate the accuracy of this approach. While no method of analyzing verbal autopsy data, including the more computationally intensive approach offered here, can give accurate estimates in all circumstances, the procedure offered is conceptually simpler, less expensive, more general, as or more replicable, and easier to use in practice than existing approaches. We also show how our focus on estimating aggregate proportions, which are the quantities of primary interest in verbal autopsy studies, may also greatly reduce the assumptions necessary for, and thus improve the performance of, many individual classifiers in this and other areas. As a companion to this paper, we also offer easy-to-use software that implements the methods discussed herein.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/07-STS247 the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Taming the waterways: The Europeanization of Southern Québec's riverside landscapes during the 16th–18th centuries

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    The arrival of Europeans in the New World effected the interaction of 2 temperate biogeographical eco-zones: the Palaearctic and Nearctic. Alfred Crosby has hypothesized that the success of the Europeans as imperialists was due, in part, to the ability of their introduced biota to bring about the collapse of the indigenous populations and local ecosystems, leading to the formation of Neo-European eco-spaces. Through a comparison of paleontological and environmental archaeological data from southern Québec, Canada, we examined Crosby's ecological imperialism model and assessed the biological impact of colonialism on the physical landscape during the 16th to early 18th centuries. The Intendant's Palace site in Québec City is employed as a case study and diachronically contextualized with data from contemporaneous sites in the region. The Europeanization of the landscape as a result of settlement construction, subsistence, and commodification was evidenced through signs of deforestation as well as the arrival of socioeconomic taxa. The biological transfer of European species did not appear to herald the collapse of local ecosystems but rather the establishment of an ecological melting pot along the early colonial waterways of southern Québec

    Relationships of Job and Family Involvement, Family Social Support, and Work–Family Conflict with Job and Life Satisfaction

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    A model of the relationship between work and family that incorporates variables from both the work-family conflict and social support literatures was developed and empirically tested. This model related bidirectional work-family conflict, family instrumental and emotional social support, and job and family involvement to job and life satisfaction. Data came from 163 workers who were living with at least 1 family member. Results suggested that relationships between work and family can have an important effect on job and life satisfaction and that the level of involvement the worker assigns to work and family roles is associated with this relationship. The results also suggested that the relationship between work and family can be simultaneously characterized by conflict and support. Higher levels of work interfering with family predicted lower levels of family emotional and instrumental support. Higher levels of family emotional and instrumental support were associated with lower levels of family interfering with work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

    The future of death in America

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    Population mortality forecasts are widely used for allocating public health expenditures, setting research priorities, and evaluating the viability of public pensions, private pensions, and health care financing systems. Although we know a great deal about patterns in and causes of mortality, most forecasts are still based on simple linear extrapolations that ignore covariates and other prior information. We adapt a Bayesian hierarchical forecasting model capable of including more known health and demographic information than has previously been possible. This leads to the first age- and sex-specific forecasts of American mortality that simultaneously incorporate, in a formal statistical model, the effects of the recent rapid increase in obesity, the steady decline in tobacco consumption, and the well known patterns of smooth mortality age profiles and time trends. Formally including new information in forecasts can matter a great deal. For example, we estimate an increase in male life expectancy at birth from 76.2 years in 2010 to 79.9 years in 2030, which is 1.8 years greater than the U.S. Social Security Administration projection and 1.5 years more than U.S. Census projection. For females, we estimate more modest gains in life expectancy at birth over the next twenty years from 80.5 years to 81.9 years, which is virtually identical to the Social Security Administration projection and 2.0 years less than U.S. Census projections. We show that these patterns are also likely to greatly affect the aging American population structure. We offer an easy-to-use approach so that researchers can include other sources of information and potentially improve on our forecasts too.age dependency, forecasting, mortality, obesity, smoking