Significant Research Advances

The Minnesota Population Center is recognized as a world leader in the development of novel methods of demographic analysis as well as technology and processes for big data ingest, management, integration, dissemination, and analysis. Recent transformative publications growing out of this work includes:

Alan Benson applied innovative measures to assess the impact of gender-specific spatial clustering of occupations on the household mobility of dual-career couples (Benson 2014).

Jack DeWaard and collaborators used novel spatial techniques and migration systems analysis to assess the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on population movements in articles in Demography (DeWaard, Curtis and Fussell 2014; in press) and Population and Environment (Fussell, Curtis and DeWaard 2014).

J. David Hacker and colleagues combined complete census micro data from five countries to conduct multi-level comparative analysis of the fertility transition. Unlike previous studies that relied on aggregate-level data, this student was able to distinguish the individual-level relationship of socioeconomic status on fertility from the effects of community characteristics (Dribe, Hacker and Scalone 2014).

Sheela Kennedy and Steven Ruggles showed that the much-heralded leveling of divorce since 1980 is an artifact of poor data and poor measurement. In fact, controlling for age there has been a dramatic increase in divorce rates over the past three decades. Their article generated dozens of news articles and blog posts, including items in the Washington Post, the Guardian, and Time Magazine (Kennedy and Ruggles 2014).

Erin Kelly, Phyllis Moen, Michael Oakes and other collaborators present the first group-randomized trial of a work-family intervention called STAR (Kelly et al 2014). They found statistically significant improvements in employees' work-family conflict and evidence that the intervention "brought greater benefits to employees more vulnerable to work-family conflict."

MPC Graduate student Liying Luo published a paradigm-shifting article challenging the prevailing methodology of Age-Period-Cohort analysis (Luo 2013a); the paper sparked a lively debate in the pages of Demography (Luo 2013b).

Using data on cohorts born between 1910 and 1950 in southern states with segregated schools, David Frisvold and Ezra Golberstein (2013) found that reductions in the black-white gap in school quality led to modest reductions in the black-white gap in disability.

John Robert Warren and Robert Warren developed new methods for estimating migration flows of unauthorized immigrants and estimated the components of change in the unauthorized immigrant population over the past two decades. They find that a precipitous drop in net migration resulted from decline in immigration; the level of outmigration has remained stable (Warren and Warren 2013).

In 2013, Katy Kozhimannil published two high-impact papers on reproductive health. Her finding that Caesarian delivery rates vary more than 10-fold across U.S. hospitals received substantial national attention in the press, including a prominent feature in the New York Times (Kozhimannil, Law, and Virnig 2013). Her work showing the efficacy of doulas in improving childbirth outcomes (Kozhimannil et al. 2013) resulted directly in new legislation allowing Medicaid reimbursement for doula care in the state of Minnesota (Minnesota Statues Chapter 108, Sec. 11).

Steven Ruggles (2013) published a paper on "Big Microdata for Population Research" in Demography, highlighting the transformative impact of new data resources on the field.

Find citations and links to these and other publications on our recent member publications page. For more information on previous work using MPC data, please visit our research advances archive.