Repeated surveys — a technique for asking the same questions to different samples of people — allows researchers the opportunity to analyze changes in society as a whole. This book begins with a discussion of the classic issue of how to separate cohort, period, and age effects. It then covers methods for modeling aggregate trends; two methods for estimating cohort replacement's contribution to aggregate trends, a decomposition model for clarifying how microchange contributes to aggregate change, and simple models that are useful for the assessment of changing individual-level effects.

Distinguishing Age, Period, and Cohort Effects

By attempting to distinguish the effects of birth cohort, of aging, and of historical period, cohort analysis provides a template for thinking about social change. I rely on that template in this book, especially in the discussion of aggregate change (Chapters 3 and 4). Because those chapters borrow heavily from ...

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