Sequence Analysis and Micro-Macro Demographic Connections

Webb Sprague, University of California, Berkeley

Life course analysis is of great interest in its own right, but also has also promise as micro base for explaining aggregate demographic results. However, a formalism describing the pathway between typical lifecourses and aggregate results has not yet been developed. This theoretical gap is especially important as cultural and developmental forces are now acknowledged to have a huge impact on demographic behavior, and these forces are most clear at the life course level. I address this theoretical need by using sequence analysis clustering of lifecourses to yield a typology of life course trajectories. My approaches to categorization are based on Piccarreta & Billari (2003), who build on Abbott’s (1995) work on sequence analysis. I create hierarchical clusters from NLSY79 with the “cluster” library in R. This approach shows promise at formally connecting micro and macro behavior, as well as elucidating the interaction of cultural processes with the life course.

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Presented in Poster Session 1