Estimating the relationship between time-varying covariates and trajectories: The sequence analysis multistate model procedure

TitleEstimating the relationship between time-varying covariates and trajectories: The sequence analysis multistate model procedure
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsStuder, M, Struffolino, E, Fasang, A
JournalSociological Methodology
Volume43
Issue1
Pagination1-34
Date Published08/2013
ISSN0081-1750
Keywordsemployment trajectories, event history analysis (EHA), German reunification, life-course sociology, multistate model, sequence analysis
Abstract

The relationship between processes and time-varying covariates is of central theoretical interest in addressing many social science research questions. On the one hand, event history analysis (EHA) has been the chosen method to study these kinds of relationships when the outcomes can be meaningfully specified as simple instantaneous events or transitions. On the other hand, sequence analysis (SA) has made increasing inroads into the social sciences to analyze trajectories as holistic “process outcomes.” We propose an original combination of these two approaches called the sequence analysis multistate model (SAMM) procedure. The SAMM procedure allows the study of the relationship between time-varying covariates and trajectories of categorical states specified as process outcomes that unfold over time. The SAMM is a stepwise procedure: (1) SA-related methods are used to identify ideal-typical patterns of changes within trajectories obtained by considering the sequence of states over a predefined time span; (2) multistate event history models are estimated to study the probability of transitioning from a specific state to such ideal-typical patterns. The added value of the SAMM procedure is illustrated through an example from life-course sociology on how (1) time-varying family status is associated with women’s employment trajectories in East and West Germany and (2) how German reunification affected these trajectories in the two subsocieties.

URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0081175017747122
DOI10.1177/0081175017747122
Refereed DesignationRefereed