Upcoming CDE Events and News


CDE - Demography Training Seminar (Dem Sem)
CDHA - Population, Life Course and Aging Seminar
Population Health Monday Seminar
This week's CDE ANNOUNCE List
CDE-ANNOUNCE is a weekly one-stop announcement list for seminars, lectures, and brownbags. This list showcases events of interest to demography researchers.


Transition from baby boom to baby bust brings policy challenges

In a recent issue of Science magazine University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Timothy M. Smeeding, Distinguished Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and CDE affiliate, explores the implications of four policy problems brought on by declining fertility and a growing proportion of elders: economic inequality, underinvestment in education, immigration, and gender equity in the workplace. | Link to article

Latin American Mortality Database released

The new Latin American Mortality Database (LAMBdA) includes vital statistics, life tables, and population counts for 1840 through 2014. The database will be used to estimate new models of mortality for countries in the region, to generate country-specific time trends of life expectancy at birth and associated bounds of uncertainty, to estimate models linking early and adult mortality across cohorts, and to compute mortality patterns at older ages.

Research by Schwartz and Han highlights changes in marriage and divorce

A recent article in the American Sociological Review has been receiving considerable media attention. Research by Christine Schwartz and Hongyun Han shows that couples in which the wife has more education are no longer associated with an increased risk of divorce. The research has been featured in USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, University Herald, Newsweek and the New York Times.

Palloni paper is recognized by editors of Demographic Research

The paper "The fragility of the future and the tug of the past: Longevity in Latin America and the Caribbean," by Alberto Palloni and Laeticia Souza, has been selected by the editors of Demographic Research as one of the very best papers in Volume 29 of the journal. The paper will be included in the journal's "Editor's Choice" collection and starred on the journal's web site.

Christine Schwartz on "Marketplace" on assortative mating

Associate Professor Christine Schwartz made an appearance on the public radio program "Marketplace," speaking on the topic of assortative mating. A short article and link to the broadcast story are at the link.

Grad Christina Diaz wins ASA Student Paper Award

The ASA Social Psychology Section Graduate Student Paper Award Committee has selected an article by Christina Diaz as the best paper for 2014. Diaz will be honored for her paper "Social Mobility in the Context of Fathering: The intergenerational link in parenting among co-resident fathers" during the ASA annual meeting in San Francisco.

Three CDE students win best poster awards at the 2014 PAA meeting in Boston

Three CDE graduate students were awarded prizes for best poster at the 2014 PAA annual meeting: Christina Diaz for "How Young Mothers Manage: Is There Evidence for Heterogeneity after Early Birth?", Ellen Dinsmore for "Race, Place, and Immigration Enforcement: Do Local Police Characteristics Matter?" and Laura Blakeslee for "The Influence of Knowledge and Attitudes on Influenza and Pertussis Vaccination among Healthcare Workers in Wisconsin." Congratulations!

Study by grad student Christina Diaz sheds light on the significance of parenting legacies

A study by CDE graduate student Christina Diaz provides insight into parenting skills and styles among fathers. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Diaz sampled 4,050 fathers to determine if men's perception of the fathering they received influences their own parenting behaviors and perceptions of the job they are doing as a dad.

PAA Scholar Lawrence Berger meets with NICHD Director

On November 6, 2013 a delegation of PAA members whose research is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) met with NICHD Director Dr. Alan Guttmacher and his senior staff. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce Dr. Guttmacher to some of the most promising, emerging scientists from the PAA who are currently receiving NICHD support.

The meeting, along with a photo of the participants, was featured in the Winter Issue of the PAA Affairs newsletter.

Alberto Palloni elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science

Alberto Palloni, Samuel Preston Professor of Sociology, and three other members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty are among 338 individuals recently elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Palloni was recognized "for international distinction in mathematical social demography, particularly for microsimulations of African HIV-AIDS diffusion, and for identifying early childhood precursors of differential adult mortality and health."

Microbiome meets big social science: What's the potential?

The new understanding of the role of microbial communities in human health, and the growing community of researchers studying the microbiome - the totality of microbes and their genomes in a given environment - could soon begin to emerge in the large longitudinal studies that have long been a hallmark of the social sciences at UW-Madison. A September workshop sponsored by the Center for the Demography and Health and Aging and the Center for Demography and Ecology, sought to bring UW-Madison biologists and social scientists together to explore the microbial dimensions of human health.

Schaeffer contributes to NRC report on declining survey response rates

A panel convened by the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics has released a report, Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda. The study considers evidence about why survey response rates are declining and what this means for the accuracy of survey results. The report, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, presents an agenda for future research on these issues. Sociology faculty member and Faculty Director of the UW Survey Center Nora Cate Schaeffer was one of the ten panel members who contributed to the workshop, panel presentations, and resulting report.

New CDE affiliates Engelman, Fletcher, and Xiong featured by the College of Letters & Science in "Meet your new professors"

Each year, the College of Letters & Science welcomes a new batch of talented scholars to its collection of more than 800 faculty members.

They come to UW-Madison from all over the world, bringing unique insights and perspectives on both emerging and established disciplines.

This article features profiles of new CDE affiliates Michal Engelman, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Jason Fletcher, Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology, and Yang Sao Xiong, Assistant Professor of Social Social Work (beginning Fall 2014)

Eric Grodsky challenges the definition of grade inflation

Over the years some educators and news stories have lamented "grade inflation." They argue that grade point averages keep rising even while schools demand less from students than ever before. They conclude that grades no longer provide useful information to or about students because of a growing mismatch between student achievement and grades awarded.

But UW-Madison's Eric Grodsky, who is a researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and an associate professor of sociology and educational policy studies, cautions that this is a misperception.

CDE and CDHA host groundbreaking microbiome workshop

Microbiota play a significant, yet largely unexplored, role in human physiology, development and growth, and individual and social behavior. Current microbiome research primarily uses animal models and small samples to examine the coevolution of microbiota and hosts, mechanisms through which the microbiota influence host immunity, the interrelation of microbiota and hormonal regulation, interactions between microbiota, gene expression and environment and, importantly, the effects of composition and changes in microbiota early in life on health status and risks across the life course. Despite its potentially large effects on health outcomes and health related behaviors, demographers and epidemiologists engaged in research on population health remain on the sidelines. The workshop "Exploring the Microbiome in Population Health and Social Research" offered an opportunity to a small group of biologists, epidemiologists, and population and social scientists to learn about the status of current microbiome research, to assess the most promising avenues of future research, to explore the potential of current and future population based studies as vehicles to collect information on the microbiome, and to explore research collaborations across disciplines.

Archived video of the workshop will be available on the web soon. Check back later for a link.

Demography journal issue publishes four articles by CDE affiliates

Articles include "Explaining the Gender Wealth Gap" by Erin Ruel and Robert M. Hauser; "Remittances in the Republic of Georgia: Correlates, Economic Impact, and Social Capital Formation" by Theodore P. Gerber and Karina Torosyan; "Migration and Father Absence: Shifting Family Structure in Mexico" by Jenna Nobles; and "Examining Antecedents of U.S. Nonmarital Fatherhood" by Marcia J. Carlson, Alicia G. VanOrman, and Natasha Pilkauskas.

Felix Elwert has won the first Causality in Statistics Education Award from the American Statistical Association

The American Statistical Association is pleased to announce that the first Causality in Statistics Education Award will go to Felix Elwert of the department of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his innovative two-day course, Causal Inference with Directed Acyclic Graphs. Elwert will receive a $5,000 prize and an award plaque at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Attending an elite college can benefit even those less academically prepared

Those who oppose affirmative action sometimes argue that such policies do far more harm than good to students who are admitted to competitive colleges or universities without the academic preparation of their peers. But a forthcoming article in the journal "Sociology of Education" (by Michal Kurlaender of the University of California-Davis and Eric Grodsky of UW-Madison) indicates this may not be the case. The authors found that although mismatched students were at a slight disadvantage relative to their better prepared peers, that disadvantage is almost entirely accounted for by high school grades and entrance exam scores.

CDE affiliate John Karl Scholz has been named dean of the UW-Madison College of Letters & Science

John Karl Scholz, Nellie June Gray Professor of Economic Policy and chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been selected as the next dean of the College of Letters & Science, UW-Madison's largest academic unit.

Scholz will succeed Gary Sandefur, who has led Letters & Science since 2004. Sandefur, a sociologist, will spend the next year on research leave before returning to the faculty.

Christina Diaz has won the 2013 Society for the Study of Social Problems Family Section Student Paper award

"When Sons Become Fathers: Examining Patterns of Fathering Across Generations" by graduate student Christina Diaz has been selected as the winner of the Society for the Study of Social Problems Family Section Student Paper Award. The judges found Christina's paper to be the best overall paper in terms of the incorporation of family theory, the methods used, the analysis provided, and its relevance to the mission of SSSP and the family section.

The University of Louvain, Belgium, awards Alberto Palloni a Doctorate Honoris Causa (honorary doctorate), in recognition of his work in demography

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of demography at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), the University will award a Doctorate Honoris Causa to Alberto Palloni. The University notes, "your work has inspired several generations of professors and students in demography at the University of Louvain, and the wide variety of topics, methods and regions you have covered in your work also reflects the way demography is done in Louvain." Congratulations, Alberto!

PAA 2013 presenters and poster prize winners, New Orleans, April, 2013

More than 50 CDE-affiliated students, faculty and researchers participated in PAA 2013 as presenters, session chairs, or discussants.

CDE graduate students Yu Wang and Elizabeth Wrigley-Field each won poster prizes at PAA. Click on the links here for photos of the poster winners. Yu Wang: "An Exploratory Analysis of the Determinants of Hukou Intermarriage in Urban China" and Elizabeth Wrigley-Field: "Unequally Insecure: Racial Disparities in Job Insecurity, 1979-2009"

Wisconsin's graduate program is ranked #1 overall and the Sociology of Population specialty is ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report

Dana Garbarski: The Role of Rapport in Sensitive Interviews

Dana Garbarski was recently awarded a grant from the Charles Cannell Fund in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Garbarski's research seeks to learn more about how interviewers and respondents interact when faced with sensitive questions during survey interviews. The link above describes more about Garbarski's work.

CDE's sister center CDHA has a new and improved web site

Felix Elwert wins Vilas Associate award

Felix Elwert has received a Vilas Associate award from the UW-Madison Graduate School. The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and on-going research of the highest quality and significance. Elwert's award honors his work on statistical methods for causal inference from observational data with applications to neighborhood effects and the determinants of educational outcomes.

Palloni and Yonker contribute to National Academies report on US Health: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

Alberto Palloni's work as part of a panel of experts was recently published in the study "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" and has received extensive media coverage in The New York Times, USA Today, and National Public Radio among other outlets. Palloni and graduate student James Yonker gathered and analyzed the information in Chapter 2 and wrote sections on health status across the life cycle that are included in the report.

Joan Fujimura receives funding from NIH for Exploring Population Concepts in Multiethnic Gene-Environment Interaction Studies

"Exploring population concepts in multiethnic gene-environment interaction studies" will analyze the challenges faced by researchers as they work with genomic data collected using different definitions of socio-cultural categories. The project examines the social and ethical dimensions of analyses and results generated by this new and growing arena of research.