A hot topic and a futile quest? The recent discussion on age-period-cohort analysis


Last year, Yang & Land released their book on age-period-cohort (APC) analysis. A large section of the December issue of Demography is dedicated to age-period-cohort analysis. And just a week or two ago a paper by Bell & Jones on the Yang & Land APC model was published in Demographic Research. APC analysis appears to be a hot topic these days!

What is APC analysis?

APC analysis comes from to the desire of demographers, epidemiologists and sociologists to want to break down phenomena of interest into constituent effects caused by (or associated with) age, calendar time and time of birth (or some other event, but birth is most common). For example, we know that health deteriorates with increasing age, and hence mortality rates are tied to age. However, they are also affected by calendar time; populations in Western Europe living in the 20th century are certainly more healthy

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