Volume 27 - Article 15 | Pages 419-428
The difference between alternative averages
|Date received:||17 Jul 2012|
|Date published:||12 Sep 2012|
|Keywords:||covariance, population average, weighting function|
|Weblink:||All publications in the ongoing Special Collection 8 "Formal Relationships" can be found at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/8/|
Background: Demographers have long been interested in how compositional change, e.g., change in age structure, affects population averages.
Objective: We want to deepen understanding of how compositional change affects population averages.
Results: The difference between two averages of a variable, calculated using alternative weighting functions, equals the covariance between the variable and the ratio of the weighting functions, divided by the average of the ratio. We compare weighted and unweighted averages and also provide examples of use of the relationship in analyses of fertility and mortality.
Comments: Other uses of covariances in formal demography are worth exploring.
James W. Vaupel - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Zhen Zhang - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research