Population studies

Front cover of Population Studies journal

The first English language journal concerned exclusively with demography, Population Studies has been produced continuously by the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) since 1947.

The journal is published and distributed on behalf of the PIC by Routledge Journals/Taylor and Francis Ltd. The editors retain complete editorial control.

The Science of Choice

online open access supplement now available October 2017 at:


Frans Willekens, Jakub Bijak, Anna Klabunde and Alexia Prskawetz – The science of choice: an introduction 

André Grow,Christine Schnor and Jan Van Bavel - The reversal of the gender gap in education and relative divorce risks: A matter of alternatives in partner choice?          

Stefanie Kley - Facilitators and constraints at each stage of the migration decision process                                                                                

Anna Klabunde, Sabine Zinn, Frans Willekens and Matthias Leuchter -  Multistate  modelling extended by behavioural rules: An application to migration                                  

Tom Warnke, Oliver Reinhardt, Anna Klabunde, Frans Willekens and Adelinde M. Uhrmacher - Modelling and simulating decision processes of linked lives: An approach based on concurrent  processes and stochastic  race       

Jonathan Gray, Jason Hilton and Jakub Bijak - Choosing the choice: Reflections on modelling decisions and behaviour in demographic agent-based models

To understand population change, it is not sufficient to know what life choices individuals and families make. We need to understand how choices are made. Critical choices in life, such as the choice to marry, to have a child, to migrate, to retire or to end the life course, are outcomes of cognitive processes. The processes involve substantial risk and uncertainty. They consist of stages and each stage takes time. Life choices have far-reaching consequences. Because of them, people’s lives and biographies are diverse, and population change is colourful but complex. 

Multi-stage decision processes under uncertainty, embedded in the human life course, are the subject of this special issue (supplement) of Population Studies. To master the complexity of the subject, stochastic process models and microsimulation are used, and Bayesian information processing models that incorporate prior beliefs are suggested. 

The publication should appeal to demographers, sociologists, economists, cognitive scientists and anyone interested in understanding how critical life choices are made. 

The publication is an outcome of the Scientific Panel on Microsimulation and Agent-Based Modelling convened by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and a workshop the Panel organized in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

 The entire publication is Open-Access. 

Guest editors: Frans Willekens, Jakub Bijak, Anna Klabunde, Alexia Prskawetz 









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