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.

Decomposing Aggregate Trends

If we observe change in the relative proportions of Democrats and Republicans in the electorate, then we can infer that either individuals have switched parties or the population of the electorate has changed (presumably because older cohorts have died off and have been replaced by younger cohorts), or both. Put ...

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