Reply to Glenn Author(s): David Knoke and Michael Hout Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 41, No. 5 (Oct.

, 1976), pp. 905-908 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 25/07/2013 14:15
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J. 25 Jul 2013 14:15:08 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . fitting to each table several models corresponding to different assumptions about the relationships among the three variables. Griliches (ed. 201-17 in K. H. Mason Karen Oppenheim Mason University of Michigan H. The replacement of proxies by the variables they index is a universal goal of research. 1975). Land and S. Social Indicator Models. If these mechanisms or variables were measured and available for analysis.91 on Thu. if cohort size is held to be the variable which causes cohort differentiation in the context of a particular substantive problem.18. Finally. In conclusion. should read: YJ =. year of survey and party identification (three major party groups). E. care should be taken to develop a model which is sufficiently formal to enable determination of the necessity of estimability restrictions. Thus.J. G. 240-71 in Z. For example. What deserves special emphasis here is that in models of the sort considered in our article. REPLY TO GLENN * We welcome this opportunity to clarify explicitly our application of the cohort-ageperiod model to our studies of party identification and voting turnout in the United States (Knoke and Hout. we raise some questions concerning the ultimate implications of Glenn's suggestions for developing a sociological analysis of cohort behavior. Under circumstances like this the results of cohort analysis become less tentative. Glenn questions whether our assumption of constant cohort effects on party identification within age and period categories is reasonable. based on survey data reported in Glenn and Hefner (1972).COMMENTS to be conceptually inadequate for the broad range of "'nondemographic" variables. Each article reports three-way cross-classifications of survey respondents by cohort. he makes no comparisons with alternative models and he does not establish his conclusion in the context of specific substantive problems. 1971 "The measurement of quality change from vintage price data.+ +Pryj +Sk+ E. First.32. B. Hall.). H. William M. Cohort analysis can take many forms." Pp." Pp. age. but the point is hardly unique to cohort analyses. New York: Russell Sage. We subjected these data to log-linear analyses. Winsborough University of Wisconsin. "Some Methodological Issues in Cohort Analysis of Archival Data" 905 (ASR April. R. Such restrictions require theoretical and substantive justification. it is unnecessary to include cohorts as such in the specification because the preferred variable is available. we reanalyze previously published cohort data to demonstrate the reasonableness of our assumption of constant cohort effects on party identification. Glenn's comments on several earlier drafts of this reply. Madison In our original article. either conceptually or empirically. The results of all modeling efforts are tentative in the sense that they rest on theory and assumptions and run the risk of being discarded in favor of results based on a competitive modeling effort using different theory and assumptions. since the estimability problem as we described it is eliminated. 1975 "Age. and education effects on earnings by race-an experiment with a sequence of cross-sectional surveys. 7). G. We agree. period.. But in so doing. we reiterate a point made in our article. then. if size measurements can be constructed. Sheps 1950 "A technique for analyzing some factors affecting the incidence of syphilis. in failing to relate additive formulations to other formulations. cohort. This content downloaded from 186." Journal of the American Statistical Association 251:373-99. Spilerman (eds. page 246. H. which have much improved the quality and value of this exchange of views. Specifications of the kind we dealt with are not universally appropriate or desirable. . Winsborough. the estimability problem dealt with in our paper either would not occur or would be different. Whatever the approach the analyst thinks promising. J. 1974. Glenn totally ignores the criterion of empirical adequacy. C. * We appreciate Norval D. Hout and Knoke. Next. period and cohort are proxies for unmeasured mechanisms or variables. Moreover. in rejecting additive models. Here we offer evidence supporting our assumption. Glenn ignores the purpose of models. Glenn (1972) and Knoke (1976:ch. we clarify some of the semantic confusion which seems to attend the use of the terms "additive" and "interactive" statistical models. equation (2).81 REFERENCES Greenberg. 1973). Price Indexes and Quality Changes. Glenn's third point is that the results of those cohort analyses affected by the problem of estimability are necessarily tentative. Wright. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.).

) The results are summarized in Table 1.05. As the x2 values for model 5 show. But. "additive" in the sense that it assumes age effects are the same at each level of period and cohort.6 (24) 33. 1968. Hence. 1972: 1054). 3 parties. e 4 cohorts. of procedures to deal with statistical indeterminacy by imposing certain constraints on the variables. Finally. 3 periods. provides a highly satisfactory fit to the observed data.3 (26) (10.9 (20) (29. Indeed.2 (36) 33. Democrat or Independent in a given cohort are unaffected by the period of observation.18. and fitted "quasi-independence" models to the remaining cells. model 5 still accounts for more than 90 percent of the baseline x2 Thus.91 on Thu. (Where data were missing due to the absence of a cohort from a time period. since x2 values for a given relationship will increase with sample size. but the resulting x2 value may be taken as a measure of the "unexplained variance" to be accounted for by other models which allow relationships among the variables (see Goodman." in the sense that cohort effects are an interaction between age and period.0 (32) 79. period and cohort variable is a linear combination of the other two.906 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Table 1. Our models do contain interaction terms.5 ( 86) 990. Model 1 fits only the three one-way marginal distributions of each variable. contrary to Glenn. we constrained the entries to fixed zeros. We suspect that this use of terminology is confusing and we want to set the record straight on the nature of the statistical models we employed.9 -(34) 597. given the enormous size of the samples used by Glenn and Hefner and by Glenn. 6 periods. These results indicate that. 25 Jul 2013 14:15:08 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Model 5 asserts that the odds on being Republican. our assumption of constant effects among cohort. b 6 cohorts. Insofar as conclusions can be drawn from empirical data from the post-World War II era. see Goodman.32. Glenn calls the Mason et al.9 (132) 1. The next three models all show some improvement in fit by permitting party identification to be associated separately with cohort or year. period and party identification. to expect a statistically significant fit is unreasonable. it is interaction that leads to the identification problem which motivated the development by Mason et al. 7 periods. A better criterion against which to judge the adequacy of model 5 in each case is the proportion of "unexplained variance" in the baseline model 1 which is reduced after fitting the additive model 5. 3 parties.0 (61) 523. Of course. since each age. In each case. as demonstrated by the necessity to include the (TP) marginal. which depicts only two-way relationships between variables in the cohort-period-party tables. only the Knoke data attain a significant fit by the usual criterion of a probability greater than . Persons familiar This content downloaded from 186.6 ( 74) 122. testing the hypothesis that only constant relationships occur between cohort.3 (44) 922. the relationship between cohort and party preference does not vary over periods. but these period effects operate identically across cohorts.852) 2.3 (30) 348. Period effects on party identification do occur.869. x2 Values for Some Log-Linear Models Fitted to Three Cohort-Period-PartyIdentification Cross-Tabulations Glenn-Hefnera Model Marginals x2 df Glenn b x2 df e Knoke x2 df 1 (C)(T)(P) 2 (CT)(P) 3 (CT) (TP) 4 (CT) (CP) 5 (CT)(TP)(CP) Sample Size 18.235) 1. which permits cohort and period measures to associate.941. model 5 permits all two-way marginals to be fitted. we conclude that model 5. (1973) cohort model.1 (44) 371. Then he acknowledges in a footnote that our models are "interactive. Even judged against model 2. model 5 accounts for more than 97 percent of the x2 values for model 1.491. they tend to be as large at older as at younger age levels. which we used with minor modification. period and age on party identification does not seem unreasonable. and so forth.5 ( 62) (56. 3 parties. under the assumption that none of the variables are associated. when shifts in party identification occur over time. this "baseline" model provides a poor fit to each data set.2 ( 74) 384.145.927) C: Cohort T: Period P: Party Identification a 7 cohorts.

" and we join him in condemnation of research based on shoddy 1 We did fit our interaction model to the cell theoretical work. For example. but to do so would have produced uninterpretable results since no parameter could be assigned meaningfully to age." However. This content downloaded from 186.' The interaction model we use specifies only one type of cohort effect. On the individual believe we have further strengthened the case level. However. but since the cohort variable is already an interaction term (cohort-periodage).COMMENTS with the long controversy on the existence of status inconsistency and social mobility effects will recognize that our models are one of a family of such interaction-effects models and not an "additive" effect model in the usual meaning of. cohort. age and period) in a regression equation to avoid unnecessary confusion. 1967:ch. This specification comes from our theoretical interest in the cohort succession hypothesis: "Aggregate changes in societal characteristics. We are sorry he found our means of the age-by-period cross-tabulation for conclusions stated too "dogmatically. period and cohort.18. our equation assumes that the effect of a given cohort on the dependent variable remains constant. Finally. since there is no of the cell mean variance. period effects on party idenabove that contributed by the social covariates. a statistical model specifying one dummy variable for every cell in the age-by-period cross-classification (see Blau and Duncan.proof positive. tification and voting turnout. However. 1973). whether in fertility rates or political attitudes. The "total" our assumptions hold. We could have fit such a "total" interaction model to the data. conceptual clarity among the three demographic dimensions becomes seriously blurred when one starts positing second.and third-order interactions among age." and we both the party identification and voting turnout data. Clearly. Perhaps Glenn had in mind. 11. The particular form of the interaction was chosen on theoretical. we rightfully must insist that they provide a superior explanation to compensate for the loss of parsimony involved. All empirical results interaction model. only disproof. we explicitly limit the causal mechanism to the cohort succession process. "demographic metabolism" is not the only mechanism op- 907 rating to alter aggregate attributes of the population. the term (see Duncan. while resulting in tions we see in Glenn's comment for the desubstantivelychaotic effect parameters. accounts for 100 are ultimately tentative. we tional 55 degrees of freedom.91 on Thu. Glenn appears to argue that cohort effects vary by age and/or period. We feel that the term "additive" should be applied to models which employ only two sets of demographic dummy variables (for example. Until such revised model(s) are forthcoming. We would welinterThus. the age. As explicitly stated in Hout and Knoke (1975:61). atheoretical cohort analysis. period or cohort effects. need not involve changes in the attributes of individuals. although not all will be theoretically plausible or result in meaningful empirical findings. By specifying constant cohort effects. The proportion of variance in cell means herewith acknowledge that our (as anyone's) explained by our interaction model were 56 and results will be valid only to the extent that 66 percent. we stand by our results as the most substantively and statistically plausible explanation of cohort succession effects on party identification and voter turnout which has appeared to date. but requires an addi. only one of a large variety of such interaction models which might have been hypothesized. the replacement of our constrained evidence to the conaction model by the "total" interaction model come further empirical only marginally would improve the statistical fit trary. as an alternative to our interaction model. 25 Jul 2013 14:15:08 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ours is an interaction model and. Since alternative specifications are likely to involve more complex interactions than ours. Knoke. we feel uneasy about the implicaof the individual-level data.32. Such alternative models could be fit to data and the gains in both statistical fit and substantive understanding could be assessed. clearly. period and cohort variables added for the tenability of our interaction model of only about two and four percent to the R2 the age. respectively (df=40). which we believe to be most consistent with the theoretical definition of that concept. 1966. for an example with social mobility and fertility). of course. If the attributes of individuals change during their lifetimes. We appreciate Glenn's exemption of our efforts from the accusation of "mechanical. 1974:701). as he acknowledges in a footnote. not on ad hoc or arbitrary grounds. The succession of birth cohorts through the population may be sufficient to account for aggregate shifts over time if the entering cohorts differ enough from cohorts exiting through death" (Knoke and Hout. alternative interaction specifications are possible. we see a reasonable possibility that researchers could specify meaningful interactions other than the type we chose. Our assumption of constant cohort effects is the apparent reason for Glenn's labeling of our model "additive.

908 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Glenn. Otis Dudley primary purpose of this paper is to present a 1966 "Methodological issues in the analysis * I wish to thank my colleagues C. Mason. This content downloaded from 186. information provided by the behavior of other cohorts offers no clue to determine the relative impact of age or period on any cohort. David 1973 "Intergenerational occupational mobility and the political party preferencesof American men. Leo A. 1972 "A general model for the analysis of surveys. sociological research must forego the aim of discovering generallyvalid relationshipsand settle instead for historical description. His main objection to age-periodcohort analysis as we have employed it seems to stem from a belief that every cohort experiences age and/or period effects in a fashion unique from all other cohorts." American Sociological Review 39:700-13. we infer. in what meaningful sense can they be called effects? (In fact. Norval D.91 on Thu. Knoke. since every individual experiences his or her life uniquely." American Journal of Sociology 78:1448-68. Michael and David Knoke 1975 "Changein voting turnout. why stop there. Peter M. 1952-1972. Plott. We fear that. period and cohort effects. David Knoke Indiana University ON THE USE OF ORDINAL DATA IN CORRELATION ANALYSIS * (COMMENT ON LABOVITZ.32. suggestions. such a scheme is neither our objective nor. that cohort effects ("additive effects" in his terms) cannot be found is to destroy the original meaning of the concept." Pp. Goodman. Hout. velopment of a sociological analysis of cohort behavior." Social Science Quarterly 53:494-519. 1968 "The analysis of cross-classified data: independence. Morris Fiorina.97 in N. A major concern has been the pos1967 The American Occupational Structure. Thus. 1970) Michael Hout University of Arizona REFERENCES The practice of treating ordinal data as interval has been the subject of considerable Blau. Robert Bates and Structure and Mobility in Economic Morgan Kousser for their helpful comments and Development. The Duncan. 1976 Change and Continuity in American Politics: The Social Bases of Political Parties. and Otis Dudley Duncan debate." American Journal of Sociology 77:1035-86. Smelser and S. choice of the particular scale used. and interactions in contingency tables with of without missing entries. he asserts.). Norval D. quasi-independence. "Cohort effects" are restricted to those influenceswhich persistthroughthe life cycle of membersof the group. Mason.18. but that is where his arguments seem inescapablyto lead. should we not insist that no generalizations across individualsare permissible?)To argue. Winsboroughand W." Public Opinion Quarterly 36:31-47. M. 25 Jul 2013 14:15:08 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . if Glenn's suggestions are taken literally. David and Michael Hout 1974 "Social and demographic factors in American political party affiliations. and Ted Hefner 1972 "Further evidence on aging and party identification." American Sociological Review 41:900-4. even by the weak standardsof contemporary social science. Glenn's." Public Opinion Quarterly 39:52-68. Glenn. Chicago: Aldine. then no generalizations can be made and we have no science. Kenneth Poole 1973 "Some methodological issues in cohort analysis of archival data. thus a "cohort effect" which changes at every new age and period is a contradiction.Glenn's analysis would leave us with a juxtaposition of biographical and historical situations and. 1952-1972. 51-." Journal of American Statistical Association 63: 1091-131. But if age and/or period effects experienced by the hypotheticalcohort in his Table 1 are "completely unique. 1972 "Sources of the shift to political independence: some evidence from a cohort analysis.We personally find that conclusion untenableand we hope Glenn does too. For if every cohort is unique in its behavior at every point in time. while a valid theoretical scheme using only these explanatory concepts might be possible. 1976 "Cohort analysts' futile quest: statistical attempts to separate age. William M." as he insists. Karen Oppenheim. of social mobility. ASR JUNE. Knoke. sible sensitivity of statistical results to the New York: Wiley. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. as Glenn does. Lipset (eds. H. Social John Ferejohn. H." American Sociological Review 38:242-58. R.

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