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Computer Models of Social Processes: The Case of Migration

James M. Beshers
Demography
Vol. 4, No. 2 (1967), pp. 838-842
Published by: Springer on behalf of the Population Association of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2060321
Page Count: 5
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Computer Models of Social Processes: The Case of Migration
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Abstract

The demographic model is a program for representing births, deaths, migration, and social mobility as social processes in a non-stationary stochastic process (Markovian). Transition probabilities for each age group are stored and then retrieved at the next appearance of that age cohort. In this way new transition probabilities can be calculated as a function of the old transition probabilities and of two successive distribution vectors. Transition probabilities can be calculated to represent effects of the whole age-by-state distribution at any given time period, too. Such effects as saturation or queuing may be represented by a market mechanism; for example, migration between metropolitan areas can be represented as depending upon job supplies and labor markets. Within metropolitan areas, migration can be represented as invasion and succession processes with tipping points (acceleration curves), and the market device has been extended to represent this phenomenon. Thus, the demographic model makes possible the representation of alternative classes of models of demographic processes. With each class of model one can deduce implied time series (varying parameters within the class) and the output of the several classes can be compared to each other and to outside criteria, such as empirical time series.

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