Population 2008, n°4
- Comparing Qualitative Harmonic Analysis and Optimal Matching. An Exploratory Study of Occupational Trajectories - Nicolas Robette, Nicolas Thibault
- Minimum Mortality: A Predictor of Future Progress? - Jacques Vallin, France Meslé
- Late-Fetal Mortality: Historical Perspectives on Continuing Problems of Estimation and Interpretation - Robert Woods
- The Distribution of Environmental Risks: Analysis Methods and French Data - Lucie Laurian
- Empirical Evidence of Population Concentration in Spain, 1900-2001 - Francisco J. Goerlich, Matilde Mas
- Do Immigrant-Origin Students Progress Faster at School? The Case of France- Hector Cebolla Boado
- BOOK REVIEWS
Nicolas Robette, Nicolas Thibault
Event history surveys provide a means to analyse large numbers of complete individual occupational trajectories. A variety of statistical methods have been developed to measure the time spent in a give state as a function of individual characteristics. Until the 1990s, exploratory data analysis to describe the full complexity of trajectories was rarely mentioned in the literature. Qualitative harmonic analysis and optimal matching are two exploratory methods that can be used to build typologies of complex individual trajectories that take account of both the sequence and the duration of events. They are used here to classify the working careers of male respondents of the Biographies et entourage survey (INED, 2001), with the aim of comparing the respective advantages of each technique.
Minimum Mortality: A Predictor of Future Progress?
Jacques Vallin, France Meslé
This analysis is not an attempt to estimate a biological limit of human longevity beyond which no human being can live but rather, in a much more pragmatic and modest fashion, to measure the life expectancy at birth of a population enjoying the lowest age- and cause-specific death rates in the world at a given time. By repeating the same calculations for different periods, we can also see how this life expectancy changes over time. This was done systematically for each year from 1950.
We have reached two major conclusions. First, the ideal life expectancy that emerges from such calculations has not stopped increasing for the past 50 years, and has risen at a sustained pace, similar to that of the best life expectancy actually observed. In addition, the suspicions of implausibility that such an indicator may initially arouse prove unfounded when we realize that the ideal level reflecting the conditions of a given year is reached, and even largely exceeded at times, by almost all advanced countries 25 years on, among women at least.
Late-Fetal Mortality: Historical Perspectives on Continuing Problems of Estimation and Interpretation
This paper considers the various problems of estimation and interpretation associated with late-fetal (stillbirth) mortality. It reviews the World Health Organization report on Neonatal and Perinatal Mortality (2006) and explores the methods used to derive stillbirth rates for countries lacking registration or survey data on fetal deaths. Various attempts to derive historical estimates for England are also considered in the light of both the WHO findings and other contemporary evidence from northwest Europe. The contributions of midwifery (birth attendants), disease environment and maternal physique are discussed with particular emphasis on the first mentioned. The relative neglect of fetal mortality in demography is also noted.
The Distribution of Environmental Risks: Analysis Methods and French data
The existence of environment-related health risks is now being acknowledged in France. According to estimates by the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, 30,000 premature deaths per year and 7% to 20% of cancers may be linked to environmental factors such as diffuse source pollution (motor vehicles, pesticides) and point source pollution (incinerators, landfills, industrial facilities). Social inequalities in exposure to environmental risks have been observed in many industrialized countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany). France is also directly concerned by this question: are we all equal in the face of pollution, or are the most disadvantaged populations also those with the highest exposure? This short paper reviews the current state of methodological and analytical knowledge on the social distribution of environmental risks with a view to stimulating further research on this issue in France.
Empirical Evidence of Population Concentration in Spain, 1900-2001.
Francisco J. Goerlich
This paper examines the evolution of the population density in Spain over the twentieth century. Using a homogeneous database of the population at a municipal level - elaborated from the eleven censuses carried out between 1900 and 2001 - the paper looks at the general characteristics of population concentration from various perspectives. Focusing on population density, we present empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that, over time, Spain’s population has undergone progressive concentration, and that this process is still under way. Its main contribution is to offer quantitative support for phenomena which have already been well documented by specialists in more general terms.
Do Immigrant-Origin Students Progress Faster at School? The Case of France
Héctor Cebolla Boado
Do immigrant-origin students progress faster at school than children with French-born parents? To answer this question, this article analyses longitidunal data from a panel of students entering secondary education in France in 1995. As suggested by part of the significant literature, the empirical analyses on performance in lower secondary schooling here presented reveal that the children of immigrant families progress faster than those of natives. However, this does not mean necessarily that they learn more or that they are more skilled or motivated than their native counterparts as could be deduced from the positive self-selection hypothesis. On the contrary the evidence shows that this only happens because they depart from lower grades at the beginning of the period under observation.