In general the age–period–cohort (APC) conundrum refers to the problem of separating the effects of age-groups, periods, and cohorts. This formulation, however, fails to differentiate two fundamental problems in APC analysis: (1) the problem of the complete confounding of the linear effects of age with the effects of period and cohort, the linear effects of cohorts with period and age, and the linear effects of period with age and cohort; and (2) the problem of model identification. We elucidate both problems and show how the first problem makes the partitioning of variance between cohort effects, period effects, and age effects and the deviation of their effects from linearity problematic even when these approaches do not suffer from the problems associated with model identification. We conclude by examining the affects of this linear confounding on estimates of the individual effect coefficients for age-groups, periods, and cohorts when a linear constraint it imposed on the matrix of independent variables to produce an identifiable model.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 12, 2010
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