Margaret M. Weden

Photo of Margaret Weden
Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in population dynamics, Johns Hopkins University; M.H.S. in biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health


Margaret Weden is a demographer and public health scientist with over a decade of experience studying the life course and intergenerational dynamics of population health and social wellbeing. She is a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and acting director of the RAND Population Research Center. Weden is currently studying the intergenerational reproduction of childhood poverty in collaborative work that employs big data statistical methods to model intergenerational social mobility and social reproduction. She has also recently begun to study the demographic and population health aspects of environmental disaster. Other recent and ongoing work has addressed the trajectories and determinants of disparities in health by race, ethnicity and nativity (e.g., childhood obesity, cognitive health of older adults, and cigarette smoking). Much of her recent work explores the application of statistical methods to improve estimation by combining two or more individual-level data sources (e.g., nationally-representative surveys. She also has past work applying GIS technologies to public health systems and services research. Weden received her Ph.D in population dynamics and M.H.S. in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Recent Projects

  • Employment, Timing of First Birth, and Child Outcomes
  • Puerto Rico Economic and Disaster Recovery Plan
  • BIGDATA Collaborative Research: IA, Population Reproduction of Poverty at Birth from Surveys, Censuses, and Birth Registrations
  • Combined-survey Estimation & Markov-chain Simulation of Childhood Obesity

Selected Publications

Weden MM, Shih RA, Kabeto MU, Langa KM., "Secular Trends in Cognitive Aging of U.S. Rural and Urban Older Adults, 2000 to 2010," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(2), 2018

Weden, M.M., Miles, J.N.V, Friedman, E., Escarce, J., Peterson, C., Langa, K.M. Shih, R.A., "The Hispanic Paradox: Race/ethnicity and Nativity, Immigrant Enclave Residence and Cognitive Impairment among Older US Adults," Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 65(5), 2017

Miles, J.N.†, Weden, M.M. † (†joint-first authors), Lavery, D., Escarce, J.J., Cagney, K.A., Shih, R.A., "Constructing a Time-Invariant Measure of the Socio-economic Status of U.S. Census tracts," Journal of Urban Health, 93(1), 2016

Baker, E.H., Rendall, M.S., Weden, M.M., "Epidemiological Paradox or Immigrant Vulnerability? Obesity Among Young Children of Immigrants," Demography, 52(4), 2015

Link, B.G., Carpiano, R.M, Weden, M.M., "Can Honorific Awards Give Us Clues About the Connection Between Socioeconomic Status and Mortality," American Sociological Review, 78(2), 2013

Weden, M.M., Brownell, P., Rendall, M.S., Lau, C., Fernandes, M., Nazarov, Z., "Parent-reported Height and Weight as Sources of Bias in Survey Estimates of Childhood Obesity," American Journal of Epidemiology, 173(3), 2013

Weden, M.M., Miles, J.M.V, "Intergenerational Relationships Between the Smoking Patterns of a Population-Representative Sample of US Mothers and the Smoking Trajectories of Their Children," American Journal of Public Health, 102(4), 2012

Weden, M.M., Bird, C.E., Escarce, J.E., Lurie, N., "Neighborhood archetypes for population health research: Is there no place like home," Health & Place, 17, 2011