Historical populations

Historical demography concerns itself with two families of questions -- factual description of population behavior and explanation of the patterns that are observed. On the descriptive side, historical demographers are concerned with estimating the absolute population size of a group or region -- Tuscany in 1400, New England in 1700, the Anasazi in 1000. And …

How the calendar matters

It is interesting to consider how the timing of a routine social event can have a major effect on outcomes. Malcolm Gladwell observes that the most talented Canadian hockey players in the NHL are disproportionately likely to have birthdays in the months of January or February in his recent book, Outliers: The Story of Success. …

Policy, treatment, and mechanism

Policies are selected in order to bring about some desired social outcome or to prevent an undesired one. Medical treatments are applied in order to cure a disease or to ameliorate its effects. In each case an intervention is performed in the belief that this intervention will causally interact with a larger system in such …

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