Age Period Cohort Analysis (online)



Organised by:

The University of Edinburgh


Andrew Bell is Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences at the Sheffield Methods Institute, University of Sheffield


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


Laura Marshall
Working week Monday - Thursday

video conference logo

Venue: Online


Age, period and cohort (APC) are three ways in which things change over time; however they are exactly collinear, in that if we know an individual’s age and year of measurement, we can work out their birth year (age=period-cohort). This presents problems for any longitudinal analysis, because we cannot include all three APC terms in a statistical model without some kind of constraint. Yet if we fail to include all three terms in a model, we can radically mis-apportion affects: what can, for example, appear to be an age effect, could in fact be a combination of period and cohort effects.


This course will introduce the age-period-cohort identification problem, and what it means for longitudinal social science research. We will consider some supposed solutions to the identification problem, some old (such as the combining age categories) and some new (such as the hierarchical age-period-cohort model) and consider the extent to which these can and cannot produce accurate age-period-cohort estimates. Finally, we will consider what we can do as researchers interested in age, period and cohort effects – both in terms of statistical models, and data visualisation.


The course will include practical elements, taught using R.

Students should have some familiarity with R, since the course will not have time to go over the basics of the software (although code will be provided for students to follow). Students should also have a decent understanding of multiple regression models, and ideally some experience of multilevel models (although we will give a brief introduction to this in the class).


Course Timings: 09:30 - 17:00


The fee per teaching day is: • £30 per day for students registered at UK/EU University. • £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions. • £100 per day for all other participants In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.

Website and registration:




Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Data Visualisation, Age-period cohort, Longitudinal analysis, multilevel modelling

Related publications and presentations:

Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis
Data Visualisation

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