Population Change and Lifecourse

Conference Program

Wednesday, March 18

Preconference Training Workshop: Multistate analysis of life histories with R

Frans Willekens
Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Workshop Venue: Rideau Salon

Workshop Outline

A. Introduction

Multistate models describe the life course in terms of transitions individuals experience as they go through stages of life and move between states. These states may represent health states, family status, occupation, place of residence, education or other domains of life. Multistate models have been successfully used in a wide variety of applied sciences. The most fruitful areas of application are health sciences, demography and economics. Important examples of applications of multistate models are stem cell transplantation (with disease relapse and death as endpoints and graft-versus-host disease as intermediate states), estimation of healthy life expectancy, marital careers, migration histories, and participation in the labor market. These applications have in common a fundamental interest in competing risks, event histories and state sequences. The subject of the workshop is the modeling of life histories.

Multistate analysis of life histories with R is an introduction to multistate event history analysis. It is an extension of survival analysis, in which a single terminal event (endpoint) is considered and the time-to-event is studied. Life histories are modeled as realizations of continuous-time Markov processes (and extensions). The statistical theory of counting processes emerged as the dominant theory for estimating transition rates from data on event counts and populations at risk. Non-parametric and parametric methods have been developed.

In recent years, software packages for multistate modeling have become available. R is the language of choice and the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) is the main repository. The packages are free and the source code is available in CRAN. The packages include survival, eha, Epi, mvna, etm, mstate, msm, Biograph, MicSim and TraMineR. For a recent review, see Willekens and Putter (2014) Software for multistate analysis, Demographic Research 31(14):381-420, and the CRAN Task View on Survival Analysis  In 2011, the Journal of Statistical Software published a special issue on multistate modeling (H. Putter, editor). Multistate modeling is an active area of research across disciplines. The research benefits from the current interest in prognostic modeling (of outcomes of health conditions and behavior/lifestyle) and predictive analytics.

B. Schedule

8:30-9:00 Light breakfast with "Welcome and Introduction" at 8:45
9:00-10:00 Introduction to R
10:00-10:30 Multistate models in survival analysis: why multistate models?
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Estimation of transition rates: a counting-process point of view (theory)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Exploratory analysis of life histories: the Biograph package
3:00-3:30 Break
3:30-4:00 How to prepare a Biograph object?
4:00-5:00 Statistical modeling of life histories (includes discussion of Biograph utilities to connect to R packages for multistate modeling):

- General package: survival
- Special-purpose packages

C. Presentation

D. Textbook

Willekens (2014) Multistate analysis of life histories with R (Springer). 

E. Packages

Please download:

1. Recent version of R

2. Biograph

Note: The packages used by Biograph should be downloaded automatically: mvna, etm, msm, Epi, lubridate, reshape, plyr, survival, mstate and ggplot2. If not automatically downlaoded, please download manually. Download also the files in the inst folder in the package source Biograph_2.0.4.tar.gz. The folder includes examples of R code to prepare a Biograph object.

The Biograph package includes two data sets:

a. GLHS (subsample of 201 respondents of the German Life History Survey). The same subsample was used by Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Götz Rohwer (2002) Techniques of event history modeling. New approaches to causal analysis. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, New Jersey (2nd Edition). The data set is used throughout the workshop (and the book on multistate analysis of life histories) to illustrate methods and software.

b. NLOG98 (subsample of 500 respondents of Netherlands Family and Fertility Survey 1998, Female population). The data set is used in Chapter 8 of the book and will be used in the workshop to illustrate the study of pathways to the first birth.

Thursday, March 19

8:30-9:00 Introduction and Welcome
Conference Master of Ceremony: Kevin McQuillan

Welcome and Introduction: Purpose, Participants, and Overview of the Conference
Presentation: Introduction and Past in Review
Rod Beaujot
The Cluster Past in Review Zenaida Ravanera

9:00- 10:30 Session 1: Aging and Paid Work
Chair: Janet Halliwell

Vivre et travailler plus longtemps dans une société vieillissante: Vers une croissance des inégalités?
Rapport de synthèse
Draft Policy Brief
Presentation

Yves Carrière, Jacques Légaré, Mélanie Léger St-Cyr, Chloé Ronteix, and Viorela Diaconu, Université de Montréal
Are Female Baby Boomers Ready for Retirement?
Synthesis Report
Presentation
Lori J. Curtis and Kathleen Rybczynski, University of Waterloo
Issues Arising: Research and Data
Presentation
Ellie Berger, Nipissing University and Becky Casey, McMaster University
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data John Rietschlin, Employment and Social Development Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

11:00- 12:30 Session 2: Health Over the Life Course
Chair: Susan McDaniel

Health Inequalities among Older Adults in Developed Countries: Reconciling theories and policy approaches
Synthesis Report
Presentation
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University; Andrea Willson, University of Western Ontario; and Sandra Reiter-Campeau, McGill University
The healthy immigrant effect in Canada: A Systematic Review
Synthesis Report
Presentation
Zoua Vang and Jennifer Sigouin, McGill University; Astrid Flénon and Alain Gagnon, Université de Montréal
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Sylvain Paradis, Health Canada
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Marie DesMeules, Public Health Agency of Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

12:30- 12:45 Poster Presentation 1

1-2 minute presentation about each poster Anaïs Simard-Gendron; Université de Montréal; Angela Daley, Dalhousie University; Astrid Flénon, Université de Montréal; Benoît Laplante, Institut national de la recherche scientifique; Bonnie McIntosh, University of Ottawa; Cassandra Cotton, McGill University; David Pelletier, Université de Montréal; Gunjan Sondhi, York University; Renée Carter, McGill University

1:30-3:00 Session 3: Immigrants and Migrants
Chair: Lorna Marsden

The New Immigration and Ethnic Identity
Synthesis Report
Presentation
Christoph M. Schimmele and Zheng Wu, University of Victoria

Bridging the Literature on Education Migration
Synthesis Report
Presentation

Ann H. Kim and Gunjan Sondhi, York University
Issues Arising: Research and Data
Presentation
Commentary on Slide Presentation
Barry Edmonston, University of Victoria
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Umit Kiziltan, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

3:30-5:00 Session 4: Population Composition: Aboriginal and Visible Minorities
Chair: Kevin McQuillan

Les mouvements migratoires des Premières Nations : Reflets des inégalités
Rapport de synthèse
Executive Summary
Draft Policy Brief
Presentation - English
Presentation - French
Marilyn Amorevieta-Gentil, Robert Bourbeau, and Norbert Robitaille, Université de Montréal
(In)Visible Minorities in Canadian Health Data and Research
Synthesis Report
Presentation
Karen Kobayashi, Mushira Khan, Sharon Lee, University of Victoria; and Zoua Vang, McGill University
Issues Arising: Research and Data Martin Cooke, University of Waterloo
Issues Arising: Policies, Research and Data Gonzague Guéranger, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

5:00-5:15 Poster Presentation 2

1-2 minute presentation about each poster Kim Deslandes, Université de Montréal; Laura Wright, Western University; Marianne Caron, University of Montreal; Maxwell Hartt, University of Waterloo; Nicole Denier, McGill University; Stacey Hallman, Western University; Valérie Jarry, Université de Montréal; Yann Décarie, INRS

Friday, March 20

7:00-8:15 Breakfast Meeting: Canadian Families in the Global Context
Organized by: Simona Bignami, Shelley Clark, Amelie Quesnel-Vallée, and Rachel Margolis

Canadian Families in the Global Context: Data Challenges and Research Opportunities
Organized by: Simona Bignami, Université de Montreal; Shelley Clark and Amelie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University; Rachel Margolis, University of Western Ontario
Meeting Room: Cartier II

What are the challenges posed by existing data to study Canadian families in the global context? Please join us for breakfast to discuss this important topic and brainstorm about the opportunities arising from new data sources to study families.

8:30-9:30 Session 5: Caregiving and Social Participation
Chair: Byron Spencer

Les “Oldest-Olds” canadiens : une population en pleine croissance, mal connue et à risque de manquer de services adéquats
Rapport de synthèse
Executive Summary
Policy Brief - English
English Presentation
French Presentation
Jacques Légaré, Yann Décarie, Kim Deslandes, and Yves Carrière, Université de Montréal
Issues Arising: Research and Data
Presentation
Janet Fast, University of Alberta
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Miriam Koene, Employment and Social Development Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

9:30-10:30 Session 6: Families
Chair: Janet Halliwell

Invited talk on families and public policies
Presentation
François Héran, L’Institut national d’études démographiques
Issues Arising: Research and Data
Discussion Paper
Presentation
Zheng Wu, University of Victoria
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Nora Spinks, Vanier Institute of the Family
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

11:00-12:00 Session 7: Aging, Lifelong Learning and Life Course Flexibility
Chair: Jean-Pierre Voyer

Invited talk on lifelong learning
Presentation
Kjell Rubenson, University of British Columbia
Issues Arising: Research and Data Paul Bélanger, Université du Québec à Montréal
Issues Arising: Research, Policies and Data Annette Ryan, Employment and Social Development Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

1:00-2:30 Session 8: New Data - Sources, Governance and Infrastructure, Analysis
Chair: Byron Spencer

Panel
Tim Holt - Presentation
Tim Holt - Commentary on Slides
Frans Willekens - Presentation
Lynn Barr-Telford - Presentation
Tim Holt, UK Data Forum
Frans Willekens, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Lynn Barr-Telford, Statistics Canada
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants

3:00-4:30 Session 9: Focus on the Future – Mega Trends in Population and People’s Lives
Chair: Susan McDaniel

Panel

Melinda Mills - Presentation

Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail
Jan Kestle, Environics Analytics
Melinda Mills, Oxford University
Table Discussion Assigned Chair and Note taker
Open Discussion Chair and participants