IN SEARCH OF A NEW QUANTITATIVE METHOD
“Economic historians that study long-term changes during the nineteenth and twentieth century are fundamentally restricted by the availability of qualitative data. As a result, researchers are forced to either impute missing data, or otherwise combine datasets in some way. In this article, we demonstrate the versatility of state-space models in addressing these problems. Not only do they enable us to compose large data series of high quality, they also provide a clear estimate of how reliable this data is, allowing any subsequent analyses to take this reliability into account. We illustrate the advantages of a state-space model using the population of Belgian municipalities as a case study. By combining growth and level data, we are able to compute yearly population statistics of over 2600 municipalities from 1880 to 1970.”
Ronsse, Stijn, en Samuel Standaert. “Combining growth and level data: an estimation of the population of Belgian municipalities between 1880 and 1970”. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 50, no. 4 (2017): 218–26.