Volume 24 - Article 29 | Pages 719–748

MAPLES: A general method for the estimation of age profiles from standard demographic surveys (with an application to fertility)

By Roberto Impicciatore, Francesco Billari

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Date received:18 Jul 2008
Date published:24 May 2011
Word count:10542
Keywords:age profile, fertility, general additive models, living arrangements, smoothing, transition rates
Additional files:MAPLES-Examples (r file, 2 kB)
 MAPLES-manual (pdf file, 156 kB)
 MAPLES_1.0 (zip file, 77 kB)


In this paper we present MAPLES (Method for Age Profiles Longitudinal EStimation), a general method for the estimation of age profiles that uses standard micro-level demographic survey data. The aim is to estimate smoothed age profiles and relative risks for time-fixed and time-varying covariates. MAPLES is implemented through a data processing routine and a series of regressions using GAM (Generalized Additive Models). Although the approach has been developed to be applied for living arrangements and fertility, MAPLES may be used for any kind of life event. In fact, it can be applied to every setting in which micro-level data on transitions are available from a large-scale representative survey (e.g., Demographic and Health Surveys; Fertility and Family Surveys; Generations and Gender Surveys). MAPLES is a R software package containing a set of commands that can be easily applied and that may constitute a useful tool box for demographers and social scientists. The package is available in the CRAN library http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/MAPLES.

Author's Affiliation

Roberto Impicciatore - Università di Bologna (UNIBO), Italy [Email]
Francesco Billari - Bocconi University, Italy [Email]

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