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The Quantum and Tempo of Life-Cycle Events

Standard demographic methods are available to measure the period quantum and tempo of life cycle such as birth, marriage, retirement, death. This presentation will demonstrate that many of these conventional period indicators are distorted by "tempo effects." A tempo effect is defined as an inflation or deflation of a period quantum or tempo indicator of a life-cycle event, that results from a rise or fall in the mean age at which the event occurs. Period measures derived from life tables are also found to be subject to distortions. Methods to remove these tempo distortions are then developed and applied in selected populations.