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Rostock, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research is located in Rostock, Germany. It was founded in 1996 and moved into new buildings in Rostock in 2002. It is one of approximately 80 institutes of the Max Planck Society.The MPIDR is jointly led by founding director James Vaupel and Joshua S. Goldstein, who joined the institute in 2007 following the retirement of Jan Hoem and took over Executive Directorship in May 2009.After the Institut national d'études démographiques, the MPIDR is the largest demographic research body in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Conducting basic research into demographic processes, it analyzes the underlying causes of demographic change, describes contemporary demographic trends, produces forecasts for the future direction of demographic processes, highlights the potential consequences facing society, and assists decision-makers in the various political and social institutions by providing them with solid information and expert advice.Currently, the MPIDR houses eight research laboratories: Evolutionary Biodemography, Survival and Longevity, Economic and Social Demography, Contemporary European Fertility and Family Dynamics, Demographic Data, Statistical Demography, Population and Policy, and Historical Demography.The institute is participating in four international doctoral training programs: The International Max Planck Research School for Demography, the European Doctoral School of Demography , the MaxNet Aging Research School , and the PhD program Demography at Rostock University.Within the framework of the Rostock Center, a joint initiative between the MPIDR and Rostock University, the institute provides decision-makers in politics and society with information and expert advice on the causes and consequences of demographic change.Since 2009, the MPIDR hosts Population Europe - the collaborative network of Europe’s leading demographic research institutes and centres - whose main activity is to the disseminate policy relevant demographic research findings. Wikipedia.

Rizzi S.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
American Journal of Epidemiology

Ungrouping binned data can be desirable for many reasons: Bins can be too coarse to allow for accurate analysis; comparisons can be hindered when different grouping approaches are used in different histograms; and the last interval is often wide and open-ended and, thus, covers a lot of information in the tail area. Age group-specific disease incidence rates and abridged life tables are examples of binned data. We propose a versatile method for ungrouping histograms that assumes that only the underlying distribution is smooth. Because of this modest assumption, the approach is suitable for most applications. The method is based on the composite link model, with a penalty added to ensure the smoothness of the target distribution. Estimates are obtained by maximizing a penalized likelihood. This maximization is performed efficiently by a version of the iteratively reweighted least-squares algorithm. Optimal values of the smoothing parameter are chosen by minimizing Akaike's Information Criterion. We demonstrate the performance of this method in a simulation study and provide several examples that illustrate the approach. Wide, open-ended intervals can be handled properly. The method can be extended to the estimation of rates when both the event counts and the exposures to risk are grouped. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Source

Levitis D.A.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

The age-specific mortality curve for many species, including humans, is U-shaped: mortality declines with age in the developing cohort (ontogenescence) before increasing with age (senescence). The field of evolutionary demography has long focused on understanding the evolution of senescence while largely failing to address the evolution of ontogenescence. The current review is the first to gather the few available hypotheses addressing the evolution of ontogenescence, examine the basis and assumptions of each and ask what the phylogenetic extent of ontogenescence may be. Ontogenescence is among the most widespread of life-history traits, occurring in every population for which I have found sufficiently detailed data, in major groups throughout the eukaryotes, across many causes of death and many life-history types. Hypotheses seeking to explain ontogenescence include those based on kin selection, the acquisition of robustness, heterogeneous frailties and life-history optimization. I propose a further hypothesis, arguing that mortality drops with age because most transitions that could trigger the risks caused by genetic and developmental malfunctions are concentrated in early life. Of these hypotheses, only those that frame ontogenescence as an evolutionary by-product rather than an adaptation can explain the tremendous diversity of organisms and environments in which it occurs. © 2010 The Royal Society. Source

Vaupel J.W.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research | Vaupel J.W.,University of Southern Denmark | Vaupel J.W.,Duke University

Human senescence has been delayed by a decade. This finding, documented in 1994 and bolstered since, is a fundamental discovery about the biology of human ageing, and one with profound implications for individuals, society and the economy. Remarkably, the rate of deterioration with age seems to be constant across individuals and over time: it seems that death is being delayed because people are reaching old age in better health. Research by demographers, epidemiologists and other biomedical researchers suggests that further progress is likely to be made in advancing the frontier of survival and healthy survival to even greater ages. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Vogt T.C.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Background: In the two decades since reunification, East Germans have experienced a large increase in life expectancy and a convergence with the West German mortality level. This gain in life expectancy appears even more impressive if we assume a different scenario in which the Berlin Wall did not fall, and the old East Germany still existed. Objective: This analysis takes into account that East German mortality would not have remained static without reunification. Thus, it shows how many years of life expectancy were actually added by the fall of the Berlin Wall. Method: The analysis shows the improvements for single age groups by projecting life expectancy based on mortality levels during the 1970s and 1980s using the Lee-Carter method. I use national-level data for both sexes for East Germany before reunification. Results: I find that, without reunification, current life expectancy at birth among East Germans would be 4.0 years lower for females and 5.7 years lower for males. I also show that older East Germans were the main demographic beneficiaries of reunification. Female and male mortality improvements in the age groups above 60 contributed up to 80% to the actual gains in life expectancy. Conclusions: Had the Berlin Wall not fallen, East German mortality would not have remained static but improved at a far slower rate. Thus, this counterfactual approach shows for the first time how many years of life were actually gained by reunification and how much of these gains were attributable to mortality improvements among the elderly. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Myrskyla M.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
American Journal of Epidemiology

Parental ages are increasing in the developed world, and postponed parenthood may have a negative association with the cognitive ability of offspring. There is, however, inconclusive evidence regarding the impact of both maternal and paternal ages. We have been able to reduce or eliminate unobserved confounding by using methods that account for fixed parental characteristics shared by brothers. Associations between parental age and intelligence quotient (IQ) among 565,433 Swedish males (birth cohorts 1951 to 1976) were analyzed, with IQ measured at conscription examinations (given between ages 17 and 20 years). When we accounted for the IQ time trend by adjusting for birth year, advanced paternal age showed no association with offspring IQ; however, maternal ages above 30 years were inversely associated with offspring IQ. For example, maternal ages 40-44 years were associated with an offspring IQ that was 0.07 standard deviations lower than that for maternal ages 25-29 years (P < 0.001). However, the IQ trend more than offset the impact of age, as without birth year adjustment, advanced maternal age was positively associated with IQ. Although the results confirmed that maternal age was negatively associated with offspring IQ, the association was small enough that delaying parenthood resulted in higher offspring IQ scores because of the positive IQ test score trend. © 2013 The Author. Source

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