Bayesian cohort models for general cohort table analyses
New Bayesian cohort models designed to resolve the identification problem in cohort analysis are proposed in this paper. At first, the basic cohort model which represents the statistical structure of time-series social survey data in terms of age, period and cohort effects is explained. The logit cohort model for qualitative data from a binomial distribution and the normal-type cohort model for quantitative data from a normal distribution are considered as two special cases of the basic model. In order to overcome the identification problem in cohort analysis, a Bayesian approach is adopted, based on the assumption that the effect parameters change gradually. A Bayesian information criterion ABIC is introduced for the selection of the optimal model. This approach is so flexible that both the logit and the normal-type cohort models can be made applicable, not only to standard cohort tables but also to general cohort tables in which the range of age group is not equal to the interval between periods. The practical utility of the proposed models is demonstrated by analysing two data sets from the literature on cohort analysis.
Key wordsBayesian cohort model cohort analysis ABIC identification problem logit model general cohort table
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