In multistate populations, the rates of interstate transfer cannot generally be determined from the size and composition of the populations at the beginning and end of a time interval. With N living states, the population data give only N equations to determine the N 2 possible rates. Here, the QERT (quadratic estimation of rates of transfer) approach is advanced that allows the transfer rates to be estimated when the products of selected pairs of rates can be assumed constant. The solution can be written in closed form and, for N living states, involves no more than N−1 quadratic equations. Compared to the leading alternative approaches, QERT provides very similar numerical estimates, while yielding the underlying behavioral rates, having flexible input requirements, accommodating all structural zeros, and reproducing the exact solution when interstate transfers are strictly hierarchical. The QERT approach is applied to construct labor force life tables for U.S. men and women for 2005–2010. The results show that labor force participation differences between men and women have continued to narrow, and that the QERT approach can generate robust worklife estimates. QERT thus provides new opportunities for demographic analysis in the absence of direct data on behavioral rates.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 21, 2015
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