social stats hp


Data Linkage and Anonymisation programme

Professor Chris Skinner (Head of the Department of Statistics and a member of our Social Statistics group) is co-organising a Scientific Programme on Data Linkage and Anonymisation at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge from 4th July to 21st  December 2016.

"Nature does not play dice!" Randomisation without an experiment

sara geneletti randomisation

This half-day session takes place at the Royal Statistical Society on Tuesday 9 February 2016. It has been organised by Dr Sara Geneletti, a member of our Social Statistics group, who will introduce the sessions. Three data situations are explored where units have been randomised in some way without a trial taking place. The speakers are Vanessa Didelez (University of Bristol), Dominik Hangartner (LSE and University of Zurich) and Ioannis Bakolis (King's College London).

Please visit the Royal Statistical Society Stats Life events calendar for more information.

Statistics without Mathematics


Statistics without Mathematics, a new book written by Professor Emeritus David J Bartholomew, is now available from Sage Publications. The books deals with the ideas that drive statistics and is an ideal primary for students who need an introduction to the concepts of statistics. The book provides an informal introduction that sets out the conceprtual tools required by anyone undertaking statistical procedures for the first time and those needing a fresh perspective whilst studying the work of others.

Key topics in

clude variability; standard distributions; correlation; relationship; sampling; inference

Professor Bartholomew joined LSE in 1973 and remained with us until his retirement in 1996. He was a Pro-Director between 1988 and 1991. He was President of the Royal Statistical Society between 1993 and 1995 and is a Fellow of the British Academy.

In December 2011 the Department of Statistics held a conference honouring the scientific achievements of Professor Bartholomew. Photos from that conference can be viewed here.

Irini Moustaki - FGME keynote speaker

Professor Irini Moustaki was a keynote speaker at the 12th Conference of the section of methods and evaluation of the German Psychological Society (12. Tagung der Facgruppe Methoden & Evaluation der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie). The conference took place at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena on 16-18 September 2015 and Professor Moustaki's talk was on "Modelling item missingness in cross-sectional multivariate data and drop out in longitudinal multivariate data: a latent variable approach".

Abstract: Sample surveys collect information on a number of variables for a randomly selected number of respondents. Among other things, the aim is often to measure some underlying trait(s) of the respondents through their responses to a set of questions and that is often achieved by fitting a latent variable model.

Surveys are either cross-sectional or longitudinal and missingness occurs in both. Cross-sectional surveys often suffer from item non-response where longitudinal surveys suffer from drop out and item non-response. A latent variable approach is adopted for handling non-ignorable item non-response and drop out. Various model specifications are proposed to model the missing data mechanism together with the measurement and structural model. The model for the missing data mechanism will serve two purposes: first to characterize the item non-response/ drop-out as ignorable or non-ignorable and consequently to study the patterns of missingness/drop out and characteristics of non-respondents but also to study through a sensitivity analysis the effect that a misspecified model for the missing data mechanism might have on the structural part of the model.

The models proposed will be applied to real data from the European Social Survey and the British Household Panel Survey.

UK Causal Inference Meeting 2016

The Centre for Statistical Methodology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) will host the 4th annual meeting of the UK Causal Inference Meeting (UK-CIM), which will take place from Wednesday 12 April 2016 to Friday 15 April 2016. This meeting is co-organised by LSE. A selection of pre-conference courses will take place on Tuesday 12 April 2016.

The UK-CIM is an initiative to organise a regular UK based meeting on causal inference as a collaborative effort across the methodology research community in the health, economics and social sciences.

Please visit the conference website here.

Summer Methods programme


Professor Irini Moustaki, a member of our Social Statistics group, taught Latent Varaible Modelling and Structural Equation Modelling for Social Sciences Research on 17 to 21 August 2015 as part of the Methods Summer Programme.


Irini Moustaki appointed as Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education

Irini Moustaki, Professor of Statistics in our Social Statistics group, has been appointed as Honorary Professor in the Department of Pychological Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. This position is for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018.

Item response theory paper now available to read

IRT modelling in the presence of zero-inflation with application to psychiatric disorder severity, authored by Melanie M Wall (Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute), Jung Yeon Park (Columbia University) and Irini Moustaki (LSE, Department of Statistics), is now available to read at Applied Psychological Measurement (OnlineFirst).

Also see LSE Research Online.

Auxiliary data driven nonresponse bias analysis

The ESRC-funded 'Auxiliary data driven nonresponse bias analysis' research project website can be viewed hereProfessor Chris Skinner, the Head of the Department of Statistics, is a co-investigator on this project. The principal investigator is Rory Fitzgerald, the Director of the European Social Survey.

Details of opinion poll inquiry announced

Jouni Kuha, Associate Professor of Statistics and Research Methodology at LSE, is a member of the inquiry panel set up by the British Polling Copuncil (BPC) to investigate the performamce of the opinion polls that it has established in collaboration with the Marrket Research Society (MRS). Read more here.

Making new drugs safer and faster to develop

Associate Professor of Statistics Wicher Bergsma helped pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop a better way to analyse vaccine trials. Read more here and download a PDF of the impact case study.

General election 2015: explaining the exit poll

Jouni Kuha, Associate Professor of Statistics and Research Methodology and Head of the Department of Methodology at LSE, explains the detail behind the exit poll forecast and indicates some of the difficulties in putting together a forecast under considerable time pressures. Please read his blog entry here.

4th Annual Survival Analysis for Junior Researcher Conference 2015

Professor Fiona Steele is a plenary speaker at the 4th Annual Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers Conference. This takes place at Keele University on 9 and 10 April 2015.

AERA Outstanding Reviewer for 2014 awarded to professor Irini Moustaki

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics (JEBS) has chosen Professor Irini Moustaki as the Outstanding Reviewer for 2014. An award ceremony takes place at the Journal Publications Committee Reception in Chicago on 16 April 2015.

Latent variable modelling and structural equation modelling for social sciences research

Structural methods for social research using SPSS

Leverhulme Trust (PhD) scholarships

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded LSE with 15 doctoral scholarships, five per year for three years, worth £1 million, for students to undertake interdisciplinary research on "the challenge of escalating inequalities".

These prestigious scholarships will provide £70,000 each (to cover 36 months of study) will be affiliated with LSE's new International Inequalities Institute (opening May 2015) and directed by Professor Mike Savage, Head of the Department of Sociology.

As well as being supervised by experts in their home departments, students will also be actively mentored by a group of seven leading scholars who all have outstanding records of research on escalating inequalities.

The Scholarships will pay UK/EU fees per academic session and the remainder can be used for living costs.  More information is available here.

The mobility problem in Britain: new findings from analysis of birth cohort data

A study by Oxford University and LSE shows that, contrary to what is widely supposed, there has been no decline in social mobility in Britain over recent decades but more of us are moving down rather than up the social ladder. The study looked at a total of more than 20,000 British men and women in four birth cohorts from 1946, 1958, 1970 and 1980-84.

‘The mobility problem in Britain: New findings from analysis of birth cohort data’, by Associate Professor Erzsébet Bukodi, Dr John Goldthorpe and Dr Lorraine Waller of Oxford University, with Dr Jouni Kuha (LSE, departments of Methodology and Statistics), is published in the early online issue of the British Journal of Sociology on Thursday, 6 November 2014.

The researchers used data from the National Survey of Health and Development (1946), the National Child Development Study (1958), the British Cohort Study (1970) and the UK Household Longitudinal Study (1980-84).


With effect from 1 November 2014 Professor Irini Moustaki has been appointed the new Executive Editor of Psychometrika, the scientific journal of the Psychometric Society. 

Analysis of multivariate social science data (second edition): data and syntax

Downloadable materials (Mplus, R, SPSS and STATA) are now available here for Analysis of Multivariate Social Science Data (second edition), published by Chapman and Hall / CPC Press. This book is co-authored by David J Bartholomew, Fiona SteeleIrini Moustaki and Jane I Galbraith.

Cross-national surveys: methods of design and analysis

This one day workshop, organised by Jouni Kuha, takes place at LSE on Monday 15 December 2014. The speakers are Rory Fitzgerald (City University), Jouni Kuha (LSE), Lars Lyberg (University of Stockholm), Irini Moustaki (LSE), Bart Meuleman (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Daniel Oberski (Tilburg University).

Please see the workshop website here.

Analysing sectional and national survey data using latent variable and structural equations models

Royal Statistical Society
29 and 30 September 2014
Presented by Irini MoustakiJouni Kuha and Sally Stares

Latent variable models are a broad family of models that can be used to capture abstract concepts by means of multiple (continuous and/or categorical) indicators. They are often best known in the form of factor analysis and structural equation models. Day 1 introduces participants to latent trait models (continuous latent variables) and latent class models (discrete latent variables) and Day 2 to multiple group latent trait and latent class analyses. The course provides training in the use of Mplus to carry out the analyses.

By the end of day 1, participants will be able to use Mplus and R routines to fit latent trait and latent class models to sing le groups; read the input from Mplus and produce measures of fit, compare models through model selection criteria; produce plots and interpret results.

By the end of day 2, participants will be able to use Mplus and the R routines developed to fit latent trait and latent class models to multiple groups; compare models; test for measurement equivalence; set model constraints; compare the distributions of latent variables between different groups (e.g. countries); make valid comparisons and interpret results.

Aimed at: Researchers interested in the use of cutting edge statistical methodology for analysing survey data from cross-sectional and for cross-national surveys.

Methods for longitudinal data analysis in the social sciences

Thank you to everyone who attend this conference on 8 September 2014 and helped to make it such success. Please see the conference website here for full details, including presentation slides.

ESRC future research leaders fellowship

ESRC future research leaders fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Dr Myrsini Katsikatsou has been awarded an ESRC future research leaders fellowship (ES/L009838/1). The research project, "Methods of analysis and inference for social survey data within the framework of latent variable modelling and pairwise likelihood", will start on 1 October 2014.

Themed edition of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics)

Dr Jouni Kuha and Professor Irini Moustaki have collaborated as guest associate editors to produce a special themed edition of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), volume 63 (2), pages 191-360, February 2014. Originating in a two-day conference on social statistics at the LSE in December 2011, organised by Professor Moustaki to honour the scientific contributions of Professor Emeritus David J Bartholomew, the papers in this edition represent a wider range of styles than is usual for the journal.

Honorary doctorate appointed to professor Irini Moustaki

Professor Irini Moustaki has been appointed honorary Doctor by Uppsala University, at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The conferment ceremony and festival banquet will take place on 24 January 2014.

Professor Moustaki's paper Pairwise likelihood estimation for factor analysis models with ordinal data, co-authored with Myrsini Katsikatsou (LSE), Fan Yang-Wallentin (Uppsala) and Karl G Jöreskog (Uppsala), is published by Computational statistics and data analysis, 56 (12), pp. 4243-4258, ISSN 0167-9473.

Social statistics workshop, December 2013

This year's Social Statisticsworkshop, recent advances in the analysis of categorical and count data, took place on Thursday 12 December 2013.

Ardo van den Hout (UCL)
Joint models for discrete longitudinal outcomes in ageing research

Maria Kateri (RWTH Aachen University)
Generalised odds ratio structures in ordinal response analysis
(Slides not available)

Peter W F Smith (University of Southampton)
Statistical modelling of population processes

J K (Jeroen) Vermunt (Tilburg University)
Multilevel latent Markov modelling in continuous time with an application to the analysis of ambulatory mood assessment data

Further information about the workshop can be viewed here.

The future of the census

Professor Chris Skinner has led an independent review of the methodology underlying the options for the future of the Census, on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A Census has taken place in Great Britain since 1801. Options set out in a recent public consultation by the ONS could lead to a radical departure in England and Wales from the traditional approach that has obtained information on all individuals every 10 years until 2011.

In a report published on 1 November 2013 Professor Skinner and his team, which included Michael Murphy, Professor of Demography at LSE, and demographic consultant John Hollis, explain that although results of ONS research to date are promising, the case for replacement of the traditional census model by the more radical option - combining administrative data with compulsory annual surveys - had not yet been established.

They conclude that a number of methodological challenges that had been identified would need first to be addressed if this option is to be pursued.

The team’s full report can be found on the ONS website. An associated statement from the Royal Statistical Society can be found here.

Dealing with the data deluge

The Winter 2012 edition of LSE's alumni magazine LSE Connect features an article by Professor Chris Skinner on Dealing with the data deluge. You can read the article here.