Diagonal reference models in longitudinal analyses of fertility and mortality

Sven Drefahl, Stockholm University
Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University
Gebrenegus Ghilagaber, Stockholm University

Diagonal reference models (DRM) are considered the only correct method of estimating an effect of social mobility that is distinct from origin and destination status. This method has become standard in analyses of other social phenomena as well. This study considers how diagonal reference models (DRM) may be applied to demographic processes (mortality and fertility) that are analyzed longitudinally and compares findings between a standard demographic approach and the DRM. Overall, the difference we see between the DRM and others is that DRM picks up weakly significant effects we otherwise do not see. This finding indicates that we gain social mobility effects rather than lose them when we use a DRM model, which means the standard demographic approach appears to run the risk of underestimating a mobility effect at worst.

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Presented in Session 58: Modelling fertility