Professor Jakub Bijak

CPC's Jakub Bijak is Guest Editor of Population Studies special issue

24 October 2017 - Today a special issue of Population Studies has been published. We are delighted to share that CPC's Professor Jakub Bijak joins Frans Willekens, Anna Klabunde and Alexia Prskawetz as Guest Editor for this edition, providing the introduction 'The science of choice: an introduction'.
Jakub also provides an article 'Choosing the right choice: Reflections on modelling decisions and behaviour in demographic agent-based models' written with CPC's Jason Hilton and the University of Southampton's Jonathan Gray.

The Guest Editors explain that 'to understand population change, it is not sufficient to know what life choices individuals and families make. We need to understand how choices are made. Critical choices in life, such as the choice to marry, to have a child, to migrate, to retire or to end the life course, are outcomes of cognitive processes. The processes involve substantial risk and uncertainty. They consist of stages and each stage takes time. Life choices have far-reaching consequences. Because of them, people's lives and biographies are diverse, and population change is colourful but complex.'

Multi-stage decision processes under uncertainty, embedded in the human life course, are the subject of this special issue (supplement) of Population Studies. To master the complexity of the subject, stochastic process models and microsimulation are used, and Bayesian information processing models that incorporate prior beliefs are suggested.

The publication is an outcome of the Scientific Panel on Microsimulation and Agent-Based Modelling convened by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and a workshop the Panel organized in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. It should appeal to demographers, sociologists, economists, cognitive scientists and anyone interested in understanding how critical life choices are made.

The entire publication is Open-Access and is available to download here. The Introduction 'The science of choice: an introduction' is available to dowload here and the article 'Choosing the choice: Reflections on modelling decisions and behaviour in demographic agent-based models' is available here.

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