The Evolution of Models in Historical Demography
Alter, George C. 2019. "The Evolution of Models in Historical Demography." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 50(3): 325-362.
Historical demography is in transition from a data-poor to a data-rich environment. Previous generations relied on demographic models to squeeze as much information as possible from the small amounts of data available. In this new era of large data sets, researchers are creating both regional and international historical data sets of unprecedented size and depth. When examined closely, however, the regression methods used today make the same simplifying assumptions that generated the key advances of earlier generations. These new methods require demographic insight to inform analyses and enrich conclusions.