A Study of the Efficiency of Small Models in the Projection of Regional Populations

Gambrelle, J. (1975). A Study of the Efficiency of Small Models in the Projection of Regional Populations. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-75-118

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The work described in this paper arose out of an ongoing research project, carried out at IIASA and the Centre for Environmental Studies, London, which aims at a more complete understanding of the dynamics of population movements and regional economic growth. This general study has two main themes. One deals substantively with interurban migration within a system of post-industrial cities, and aims to recast migration from the traditional economic push-pull theory into a more dynamic multicausal theory in which job turnover in the local labour market plays an important part. The second theme is methodological and describes a structured research strategy for the dynamic analysis of complex systems.

The study argues that, while it is important to recognize the usefulness of simple models at the early stages of an enquiry, those same simple models should be improved by hypothesis testing during the course of the work; the study argues further that a hierarchy of models of national settlement systems should be developed at varying levels of approximation. At the simplest level, one should be able to perform calculations on the back of an envelope that describe the broad qualitative directions of change in a way that is of interest to policy makers in the short term. In policy analysis, as in everything else, one has to begin in order to begin. But it is equally important to recognize the need for change when the inadequacy of the simpler methods has been demonstrated. Thus policy analysis becomes an iterative, structured learning process.

Within this general context, this paper aims to illustrate and test some simple models for calculating differential rates of population change which require little data or time to construct, but which may be useful in preliminary explorations of policy. The paper focuses on the regional population distributions of France; a companion paper by David Gleave entitled "The Utility and Compatibility of Simple Migration Models" considers the application of similar methods in the UK, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany and France.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Human Settlements and Services Area (HSS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:07
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/310

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