Historical Demography: Data, Methods, Sources (UCLA Sociology 285B Spring 2012) Syllabus

Sociology 285B
Historical Demography: Data, Methods, and Debates
M 1-4PM

Cameron Campbell
Haines 202
This seminar will examine 1) new data and methods that have recently expanded the scope of historical demography, 2) classic debates and controversies in population history, including relevant broader debates in economic and social history,3) recent work using new data and methods to investigate topics of longstanding interest in historical demography such as mortality, fertility, and marriage, as well as newer topics such as migration and stratification, and 4) recent work that has used historical demographic data to address issues of contemporary relevance, especially in health and mortality.  Weekly class discussions will not only cover the substance of the readings and relevant debates, but methodological issues related to the creation, management and analysis of datasets.  Students who complete the class will have a detailed understanding of major debates and controversies in historical demography as well as knowledge of the major sources of data and the methods for organizing and analyzing them, and should be adequately prepared to initiate a study on a topic of their choice with a historical dataset.

Historical demography began as an effort to reconstruct demographic regimes in populations in the past.  Central concerns were reconstruction of historical trends in basic indices of mortality, fertility, and nuptiality, and examination of the relationship of those trends to economic and social conditions.  Practitioners made creative use of individual-level data in parish registers, genealogies, and other sources to produce estimates of aggregate demographic indices.  Such work illuminated demographic processes before and during the demographic transition, and provided a foundation for ambitious efforts to examine relationships between population, the economy, and social organization in the past.
New data and new methods have transformed historical demography.  They have not only broadened its scope by making possible the investigation of a much wider variety of historical topics, but they have also increased the relevance of historical demography for our understanding of contemporary demographic phenomena.  One key development has been the construction of large databases of longitudinal and in some cases multigenerational individual level data from historical household registers, genealogies, and other archival sources.  Application of event-history analysis and other regression-based techniques to these data has led to a new focus on describing, comparing, and understanding patterns of differentials within populations.  Historical demographic studies now routinely examine differences in marriage, reproduction, and death according to community and family context, socioeconomic status, and other individual and family characteristics.  Increasingly, historical demography takes advantage of these novel data and methods to focus on new topics such as migration and stratification, and examine topics of contemporary importance such as the influence of conditions in early life on socioeconomic and health outcomes at later age, and multigenerational processes.


Students should have completed Sociology 210ABC, or have completed 210AB and be enrolled in 210C.  Students in other departments should have completed courses equivalent to 210ABC, for example, an econometrics or statistics sequence that covers linear regression as well as methods for limited dependent variables.  Students should have basic familiarity with data management and analysis in STATA or another statistical package.  Prior coursework in social demography or demographic methods is useful but not required.


Weekly response papers – 50%
In preparation for the discussion at each week’s class meeting, students will write a one page (500-600 words) essay responding to and reflecting on the assigned readings for that week.  Responses may either critique individual readings, or synthesize key points from all readings to identify questions and topics on which to focus class discussion.  Students will post their essays to the discussion forum at the class website in advance of each class meeting.

Class participation – 10 %
Students are expected to attend all class meetings and contribute to discussion.  Ten percent of the grade will be assigned based on attendance and participation in discussion.

Research paper and presentation – 40%
Students will write a research paper on a topic of their choice based on analysis of historical population data.  The data should be individual level and longitudinal, and may consist of household registers, genealogies, linked Censuses, or other linked archival sources.  Cross-sectional data such as historical Censuses may be acceptable but the analysis should include a time dimension.  Students are encouraged to make use of publicly available datasets that are readily downloadable such as the China Multigenerational Panel Dataset – Liaoning (CMGPD-LN), the North Atlantic Population Project, the Historical Sample of the Netherlands, the Union Army Study, or the IPUMS Linked Representative Samples.  Exploratory and descriptive analysis of novel historical datasets Students may also make use of contemporary datasets that are longitudinal or intergenerational such as PSID, L.A. FANS and so forth, but will need to check with me to confirm the suitability of their topic.  They are also responsible for obtaining access to the data.  There are other potential sources of data with varying degrees of accessibility and I will be happy to discuss possibilities with students.
Students who do not have the appropriate background or experience to carry out an analysis of data may choose instead to write a comprehensive literature review on a specific topic related to historical demography, broadly defined.  They will need to discuss their proposed topic with me and have it approved.

Schedule (Tentative)
Readings are subject to modification.  The readings emphasize recent scholarship in which advanced methods are applied to novel individual-level, longitudinal demographic databases.  Starting in Week 3, there will be in-depth discussion of a specific dataset every week.  Time will also be available every week for students to discuss questions and problems they have about the dataset they are analyzing.  Discussion of issues related to data management are especially welcome.
Origins of historical demography
Population and economy in the past
Recent developments and new directions
Bengtsson, Tommy, Cameron Campbell, James Lee, et al.  2004.  Life Under Pressure: Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapters 1 2, and 3.
Tsuya, Noriko, Wang Feng, George Alter, James Z. Lee et al.  2010.  Prudence and Pressure: Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapters 1-2, 5.
康文林 (Cameron Campbell).  2012.  “人口歷史(Population History)”.  Chapter 8 in 人口學 (Demography).  北京(Beijing):人民大學出版社 (People’s University Press).  I will distribute the English language original.
Old and New Sources
Data entry, cleaning and linkage
Dataset management
Bengtsson, Tommy, Cameron Campbell, James Lee, et al.  2004.  Life Under Pressure: Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  Appendix A.
Campbell, Cameron and James Lee.  2002 (publ. 2006).  “State views and local views of population: Linking and comparing genealogies and household registers in Liaoning, 1749-1909.”  History and Computing.  14(1+2):9-29.  [LINK]
Ruggles, Steven.  2002 (publ. 2006).  “Linking historical Censuses: A new approach.”  History and Computing.  14(1+2):213-224.  [LINK]
Tsuya, Noriko, Wang Feng, George Alter, James Z. Lee et al. Prudence and Pressure: Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapter 3.
Please visit the websites of the Union Army Study, the Historical Sample of the Netherlands, by following the links above. 
Please also visit the websites of the following historical population databases, which while not yet publicly available, are nevertheless of potential importance because data are available through application, or may be released:
PRDH (genealogical database constructed from Quebec parish registers)
Enquête TRA (A French project to link the demographic and administrative records of individuals whose surnames begin with the letters TRA)
Program for Historical Demography (Taiwanese household registers from the Japanese colonial era)
For reference
Gutmann, Myron and Etienne van de Walle.  1978.   “New Sources for Social and Demographic History: The Belgian Population Registers.”  Social Science History. 2(2): 121-143. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/1171005
Kurosu, Satomi.  2002.  “Studies on Historical Demography and Family in Early Modern Japan.”  Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  10(1):3-21.  https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/603
Lee, James, Cameron Campbell and Wang Feng. 1993. “An introduction to the demography of the Qing imperial lineage, 1644-1911.” Schofield, Roger and David Reher eds. Old and New Methods in Historical Demography.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 361-382.
Park, Hyunjoon and Sangkuk Lee.  2008.  “A survey of data sources for studies of family and population in Korean history.”  The History of the Family.  13(8):258-267.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.hisfam.2008.05.005

Classic issues

Fertility behavior before the demographic transition

Bengtsson, Tommy and Martin Dribe.  2006.  “Deliberate control in a natural fertility population: Southern Sweden, 1766-1864.”  Population Studies.  43(4): 727-746.   http://www.jstor.org/stable/4137215
Campbell, Cameron and James Lee.  2010.  “Fertility control in historical China revisited: New methods for an old debate.”  History of the Family 15:370-385. doi:10.1016/j.hisfam.2010.09.003.
Tsuya, Noriko, Wang Feng, George Alter, James Z. Lee et al. Prudence and Pressure: Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapter 6.
Van Bavel, Jan. 2004. “Deliberate birth spacing before the fertility transition in Europe: evidence from nineteenth-century Belgium.” Population Studies. 58(1): 95-107.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0032472032000167706
Van Bavel, Jan and Jan Kok.  2010.  “A mixed effects model of birth spacing for pre-transition populations: Evidence of deliberate fertility control from nineteenth century Netherlands.”  History of the Family.  15(2):125-138.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.hisfam.2009.12.004
Dataset: CMGPD-LN and CMGPD-SC.  Please review the CMGPD-LN User Guide in preparation, especially pages 1-25.
Demographic transition
Brown, John C. and Timothy W. Guinnane.  2002.  “Fertility transition in a rural, Catholic population: Bavaria, 1880-1910.”  Population Studies.  56(1):35-49.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/3092940
Cutler, David and Grant Miller.  2005.  “The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States.”  Demography.  42(1):1-22.  http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/demography/v042/42.1cutler.html
Hacker, J. David.  2003.  “Rethinking the “early” decline of marital fertility in the United States.”  Demography.  40(4):605-620.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/e334t244gl5173j3/
Dataset: Qing Imperial Lineage Genealogy

For reference

Hacker, J. David.  1999.  “Child naming, religion and the decline of marital fertility in nineteenth-century America.”  History of the Family.  4(3): 339-365. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/S1081-602X(99)00019-6

Household organization, family formation, marriage, and adoption
Bengtsson, Tommy, Cameron Campbell, James Lee, et al.  2004.  Life Under Pressure: Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapters 4, 5.
Chen Shuang, Cameron Campbell, James Lee.  2008.  “Institutional, Household, and Individual Influences on Male and Female Marriage and Remarriage in Northeast China, 1749-1912.”  CCPR Working Paper 061-08.   http://papers.ccpr.ucla.edu/papers/PWP-CCPR-2008-061/PWP-CCPR-2008-061.pdf
Kurosu, Satomi 2011.  “Divorce in Early Modern Rural Japan: Household and Individual Life Course in Northeastern Villages, 1716-1870.”. Journal of Family History.  36:118-141.  http://jfh.sagepub.com/content/36/2/118.short
Tsuya, Noriko, Wang Feng, George Alter, James Z. Lee et al. Prudence and Pressure: Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapter 4.
Dataset: Korean household registers

Historical data for contemporary topics
Abramitzky, Ran, Leah Platt Boustan, Katherine Erikkson.  2010.  “Europe’s tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration.”  NBER Working Paper No. 15684.  http://www.nber.org/papers/w15684
Arrizabalaga, Marie-Pierre.  2005.  “Basque Women and Urban Migration in the 19th Century.” The History of the Family.  10:99-117.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.hisfam.2004.01.015

Campbell, Cameron and James Lee.  2001.  “Free and unfree labor in Qing China: Emigration and escape among the bannermen of northeast China, 1789-1909.”  The History of the Family: An International Quarterly.  6(4):455-476.  [LINK]

Kesztenbaum L.  2008.  “Cooperation and coordination among siblings: Brothers’ migration in France, 1870-1940” The History of the Family. 13(1):85-104. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.hisfam.2008.01.006
Dataset: TBA
For reference
Boustan, Leah Platt, Price V. Fishback, and Shawn Kantor.  2010.  “The effect of internal migration on local labor markets: American cities during the Great Depression.”  Journal of Labor Economics.  28(4):719-746.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/653488
Stratification and social mobility
Campbell, Cameron and James Lee.  2008.  “Kin Networks, Marriage, and Social Mobility in Late Imperial China.”  Social Science History 32(2):175-214. http://ssh.dukejournals.org/content/32/2/175.short
Long, Jason and Joseph Ferrie.  2005.  “A Tale of Two Labor Markets: Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Britain and the U.S. Since 1850.”  NBER Working Paper 11253.  http://www.nber.org/papers/w11253.pdf. Forthcoming in American Economic Review as “Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Britain and the U.S. Since 1850.”
Xie Yu and Alexandra Achen Killewald.  2010.  “Historical trends in social mobility: Data, methods and farming.”  PSC Research Report No. 10-716.  http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/pdf/rr10-716.pdf  Forthcoming in American Economic Review.
Arrondel, Luc and Cyril Grange.  2006.  “Transmission and inequality of wealth: An empirical study of wealth mobility from 1800 to 1938 in France.”  Journal of Economic Inequality.  4(2):209-232.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/d2880h0463895p29/
For reference
Van Leeuwen, Marco H.D.  2009.  “Social inequality and mobility in history: introduction.”  Continuity and Change.  24(3):399-419.
Van Leeuwen, Marco H.D., Ineke Maas, and Andrew Miles.  2004.  “Creating a historical international standard classification of occupations: An exercise in multinational interdisciplinary cooperation.”  Historical Methods.  37(4):186-197.
Van Leeuwen, Marco H.D. and Ineke Maas.  2010. “Historical studies of social mobility and stratification.” Annual Review of Sociology. 36:429-451.
Dataset: TBA
Long-term effects of conditions in early and mid-life
Bengtsson, Tommy, and Göran Broström.  2009.  “Do conditions in early life affect old-age mortality directly and indirectly?  Evidence from 19th century rural Sweden.”  Social Science and Medicine.  68(9):1583-1590.
Costa, Dora. L.  2000.  “Understanding the twentieth-century decline in chronic conditions among older men.”  Demography.  37(1):53-72.
Ferrie, Joseph.and Karen Rolf.  2011.  “Socioeconomic status in childhood and health after age 70: A new longitudinal analysis for the U.S., 18952005.”   Explorations in Economic History.  48(4):445-460.
Smith, Kenneth R., Geraldine P. Mineau, Gilda Garibotti, Richard Kerber.  2009.  “Effects of childhood and middle-adulthood family conditions on later-life mortality: Evidence from the Utah Population Database, 1850-2002.” Social Science Medicine.  68(9)1649-59.
Smith, Kenneth R., Geraldine P. Mineau, Lee Bean. 2002.  “Fertility and post-reproductive longevity.” Social Biology. 49(3-4):185-205.
Dataset: TBA

Kinship networks and multigenerational perspectives
Campbell, Cameron and James Z. Lee.  2011.  “Kinship and the Long-Term Persistence of Inequality in Liaoning, China, 1749-2005.”  Chinese Sociological Review. 44(1):71-104.  [LINK]
Garibotti, Gilda, Ken R. Smith, Richard A. Kerber, Kenneth M. Boucher.  2006.  “Longevity and Correlated Frailty in Multigenerational Families.”  The Journals of Gerontology.  61A(12):1253-61.
Dataset: TBA
Presentations, and final discussion