Berkeley Formal Demography Workshop 2021

The 2021 Berkeley Formal Demography Workshop (BFDW) was held virtually from May 24-28, 2021. The theme of the 2021 BFDW workshop was COVID-19 and Formal Demography. The lectures, exercises and research talks covered some of the central concepts of formal demography, with a special focus on the applications of these methods to studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The content and materials from the workshop are available below (click on links in the schedule below to access slides, exercises, readings, and recordings).

Note: All exercises assume familiarity with R, RStudio notebooks, and introductory demography concepts, such as the life table. We recommend starting with the pre-workshop notes and instructions and pre-workshop exercises.

Day 1 — Population dynamics and stable population theory

  • Lecture, Part 1, Ayesha Mahmud: Matrix projection models and stable population theory [Slides] [Exercises]
  • Lecture, Part 2, Ayesha Mahmud: Extension of matrix models to disease transmission [Slides] [Exercises]
  • Jenna Johnson-Hanks, Research Talk: “Vital conjunctures and COVID-19” [Recording]

Day 2 — Mortality modeling and COVID-19

  • Lecture, Part 1, Joshua Goldstein: Stable theory and per capita mortality [Slides] [Exercises]
  • Lecture, Part 2, Joshua Goldstein: Entropy of the life table [Slides] [Exercises]
  • Lecture, Part 3, Joshua Goldstein: Loss of remaining life [Slides] [Exercises]
  • Jennifer Dowd, Research Talk: “Demographic insights into COVID-19: one year later” [Recording]

Day 3 — Author-meets-trainees paper walk-throughs

  • Ken Wachter:  “Vaccinating the oldest against COVID-19 saves both the most lives and most years of life” [Slides] [Exercises] [Reading]
  • Elizabeth Wrigley-Field: “US racial inequality may be as deadly as COVID-19” [Reading]
  • Tom Cassidy: “Lives saved from age-prioritized COVID-19 vaccination” [Reading]

Day 4  – Research Talks

  • Dmitri Jdanov: “The short-term mortality fluctuations series: new datasource on weekly mortality” [N/A]
  • Ashton Verdery: “COVID-19 related bereavement: demographic methods and applications” [Recording
  • Audrey Dorélien: “Quantifying social contact patterns in Minnesota during the Stay-At-Home social distancing order” [Reading] [Recording]
  • Panel on Formal Demography and Infectious Disease Dynamics: Jessica Metcalf [Slides][Reading], James Holland Jones [Reading], Shripad Tuljapurkar [Reading 1] [Reading 2][Recording]

Day 5 — Research Talks

  • Ron Lee: “Understanding current fertility declines in relation to Covid-19” [Reading 1] [Reading 2] [Recording
  • Carl Schmertmann: “Bayesian Brass Methods for infant mortality with sparse data” [Slides][Recording]
  • Theresa Andrasfay: “Reductions in life expectancy due to COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact on Black and Latino populations” [Recording
  • Panel on Formal Demography: Marcia Castro, Will Dow, Ronald Lee [Recording]

The Berkeley Workshop in Formal Demography was funded by the NICHD R25HD083136 and co-sponsored by the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA) and the Berkeley Population Center.