Encyclopedia of Migration

Living Edition
| Editors: Reed Ueda

Age, Period, and Cohort Effects

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6179-7_88-1


Age effects refer to variation in life course experiences due to chronological age (e.g., an immigrant’s age upon arrival). Period effects are experienced by all groups in the population regardless of age (e.g., national immigration policies). Cohort effects include social and historical changes affecting a specific group with a shared event (e.g., immigration).

Detailed Description

In 1965, Norman Ryder wrote about the cohort as a critical demographic element of social change and began to lay out the process for untangling the differences between cohort, age effects, and period effects. In doing so, he established an important approach for distinguishing changes experienced by a population or those experienced by a specific group. These approaches are still employed today by demographers and sociologists studying a range of events including immigration. We begin by discussing period, cohort, and age effects generally and then discuss how they complicate our understanding of...


Birth Cohort Period Effect Cohort Effect Language Ability Child Migrant 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA