Research Professor, Institute for Social Research
Population Studies Center
Alter’s research integrates theory and methods from demography, economics, and family history with historical sources to understand demographic behaviors in the past. From 2007 to 2016 Alter was Director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, the world’s largest archive of social science data. He has been active in international efforts to promote research transparency, data sharing, and secure access to confidential research data. He is currently engaged in projects to automate the capture of metadata from statistical analysis software and to compare fertility transitions in contemporary and historical populations.