Identifying Age, Cohort and Period Effects in Scientific Research Productivity : Discussion and Illustration Using Simulated and Actual Data on French Physicists
The identification of age, cohort (vintage), and period (year) effects in a panelof individuals or other units is an old problem in the social sciences, but onethat has not been much studied in the context of measuring researcherproductivity. Considering a semi-parametric model of productivity wherethese effects are assumed to enter in an additive manner, we present theconditions necessary to identify and test for the existence of the three effects.In particular we show that failure to specify precisely the conditions underwhich such a model is identified can lead to misleading conclusions about theproductivity-age relationship. We illustrate our methods using data on thepublications 1986-1997 by 465 French condensed matter physicists who wereborn between 1936 and 1960.
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