May 14, 2019 | News | Suessmilch Lecture

Understanding Social Change: New Methods for Age-Period-Cohort Analysis

On May 21, 2019, Christopher Winship from the Harvard University gave a talk about new methods for age-period-cohort analysis at the MPIDR.


For nearly 100 years researchers have debated about how to analyze APC data with little consensus. In a series of papers that will form the basis of a book, Chris Winship along with Ethan Fosse show that by changing the goals and introducing new methods it is possible to put APC analysis on a firm methodological foundation. Specifically they show that by bringing theory to bear and recognizing that nonlinear effects are identified, doing bounding analyses, and explicitly incorporating mechanisms into one’s analysis, it is possible to learn much from APC data and at times legitimately obtain point estimates, or something close, for the effects of age, period, and cohort.

© Photo: Nancy Winship

About the speaker

Christopher Winship is the Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and a member of the senior faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a faculty associate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Program in Criminal Justice, the Safra Center for the Study of Ethics, the Center for Public Leadership, the Center for Educational Policy Research, and the Program in Social Inequality. Along with Robert Sampson he is the founder of the Boston Area Research Initiative, an interuniversity research collaborative whose goal is to bring high quality research to local government decision-making. Since 1995 he has been the editor of Sociological Methods & Research, consistently one of the top journals in both social science methodology and sociology as measured by citation impact.

Time and Venue

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 3 p.m., in the institute's Auditorium.


Head of the Department of Public Relations and Publications

Silvia Leek


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Silke Schulz


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.