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Title: A Comparison of Statistical Models for Life Course Analysis with an Application to First Marriage
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Tuma, Nancy Brandon
Michael, Robert T.
A Comparison of Statistical Models for Life Course Analysis with an Application to First Marriage
In: Current Perspectives on Aging and the Life Cycle, Volume 2, Family Relations in Life Course Perspective. Z. Blau, ed. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1986: pp. 107-146
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: JAI Press, Inc.
Keyword(s): Family Background; Life Course; Life Cycle Research; Marriage; Modeling, Logit; Modeling, Mixed Effects; Variables, Independent - Covariate

This paper addresses the question: "How similar are results pertaining to the effects of family background on early marriage when five different statistical models are used to analyze the data?" Data from the NLSY are used in this study of first marriage rates up to age 22 using three proportional hazard models--a Gompertz model, a Cox model, and a time period analog to the Cox model--as well as two additional commonly used models, a logistic and a linear probability model. These statistical models are fit to a relatively large sample (N=2468) of white women and to a relatively small sample (N= 223) of Hispanic women. An identical set of covariates is used for the comparison. Using several tests of goodness-of-fit, all five models capture the general age pattern of early entry into marriage reasonably well, with the proportional rate models closest to the Kaplan-Meier estimates for the whole sample. Regarding the estimates of the effects of covariates, all five models yield quite similar estimates when evaluated at sample means, but of course the linear probability model's estimate deviates substantially from the others at levels far from the means. Although the data demands and complexity of estimation is greater with the proportional rate models, they appear to be the preferred model in terms of their fit with the data. In our comparisons between the two static models, the linear probability model is substantially inferior to the logistic model.
Bibliography Citation
Tuma, Nancy Brandon and Robert T. Michael. "A Comparison of Statistical Models for Life Course Analysis with an Application to First Marriage" In: Current Perspectives on Aging and the Life Cycle, Volume 2, Family Relations in Life Course Perspective. Z. Blau, ed. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1986: pp. 107-146