Conceptual advances include the concept of life-course analysis, which focuses attention on the overlaps between an individual's experiences and those coincident in historical time, for example changes in government policy, the experiences of other family members, or status of significant other individuals (see T. K. Haraven ( ed.) , Transitions: The Family and the Life Course in Historical Perspective, 1978
At the level of research techniques, advances in dealing with problems of attrition and recall have extended the reliability of panel data, and the development of a number of statistical techniques and packages for handling recurrent binary events have made the analysis of events (and their associated ‘time windows’) both more sophisticated and easier to present (see C. Hsiao , Analysis of Panel Data, 1986
). The Cox proportional hazard model is a good example of one such technique.
The papers collected in Shirley Dex ( ed.) , Life and Work History Analyses (1991)
give a good idea of the issues and recent developments in the field. One of the leading exponents of this form of analysis, Hans-Peter Blossfeld, has also produced two (co-authored) texts—Event-History Analysis (1989) and Techniques of Event-History Modelling (1995)—which give an excellent account of the explanatory potential of event-history techniques for causal modelling of longitudinal data. See also SEQUENCE ANALYSIS.
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