Demography Lab

Demography Lab

Active Projects

Collecting Demographic Data on COVID-19 Mortality

Dr. Isaac Sasson
In collaboration with MPIDR

The BMI Demography Lab is collaborating with an international research team, led by Tim Riffe and Enrique Acosta at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), to collect data on COVID-19 cases and deaths by age. These data are critical for understanding COVID-19 mortality and facilitate comparisons between countries with vastly different age structures, in order to inform policy makers. The lab is in charge of harmonizing the Israeli data with COVerAGE-DB, the international database, which currently includes more than 80 countries.

Link to database:

Social inequalities in mortality

Shayna Bernstein, Postdoctoral BMI Fellow
Academic Advisor: Dr. Isaac Sasson

Lifespan inequality is the most important issue, as all other inequalities operate on a notion of ‘life’. This research project aims to answer the following question: How does excess exposure to mortality shape individuals' perceived longevity, that is, their own survival expectations and subjective life expectancy? When addressing this question, the focus relies on lifespan inequality in the U.S., specifically the racial gap and educational gradient. By comparing expected survival between groups, individual experience of lifespan inequality can be fully understood. The findings show that disadvantaged groups tended to be optimistic about their mortality prospects, and in one case, with race, that the inequalities in perceived life expectancy switched direction. It can be assumed that disadvantaged groups are not experiencing or internalizing the lifespan inequalities, they have historically been subject to, it would be incorrect. Further research is required to understand how predictions of survival and life expectancy differ by race.

The different trajectories in which childhood socioeconomic status (cSES) shapes older adults' expected lifespan

Atalia Regev, BMI Fellow
Academic Advisor: Dr. Isaac Sasson

This research project aims to examine the different trajectories in which childhood socioeconomic status (cSES) shapes older adults' expected lifespan. Possible statistical models and databases through which the research question could be studied have been examined. The intention is to analyze data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a representative longitudinal panel study of United States adults aged 50 and over. The different pathways in which cSES may shape perceptions of the risk of mortality over the life course will be assessed using nested discrete-time hazard models (Hayward & Gorman, 2004), regressing subjective life expectancy (Perozek 2008) on Vable and colleagues' cSES index. (Vable et al., 2017).

An important global challenge which the world is facing is Demography. BMI sees the global demographic challenges as a crucial aspect in forming policy, thus supports a new research lab in this subject.

Dr. Isaac Sasson

Lab Head

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, TAU

Shayna Bernstein

Shayna Bernstein

BMI Fellow (Postdoctoral)


BMI warmly congratulates Prof. Isaac Sasson, Head of the Demography lab, on his promotion to a Fellow Professor at TAU.

Congratulations to Prof. Isaac Sasson