The Hierarchies of Age-Period-Cohort Research: Political Context and the Development of Generational Turnout Patterns

Kaat Smets, Anja Neundorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Voters that come of age at roughly the same time share common influences because of the specific political context during their formative years. We can therefore assume the errors in a model explaining their political behavior to be dependent. Recent advances in social statistical analysis of age-period-cohort (APC) effects propose the use of hierarchical modeling in combination with repeated cross-sectional survey design to solve this problem. We apply these random-intercept models to assess the impact of the political context on the development of generational turnout patterns, assuming that cohorts that grew up in a highly-politicized context have a higher propensity to turn out to vote despite of any age or period effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41–51
Number of pages11
JournalElectoral Studies
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Turnout
  • Cohort analysis
  • Political socialization
  • mixed generalized linear modeling

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