Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Adult Literacy Skills in the United States

Winter 2023



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Author(s): Takashi Yamashita – University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Thomas J. Smith – Northern Illinois University; Phyllis A. Cummins – Miami University

This research paper examines the temporal sources of adult literacy skill variation in the United States. The study analyzes three nationally representative datasets spanning from 1994 to 2017. The findings reveal significant variation in adult literacy skills across cohorts and time periods. Age effects, cohort effects, and period effects are considered to explain the variation.

The study suggests that social and economic conditions, along with the quality of education systems, contribute to period and cohort effects. The paper calls for further research to refine the methodology and explore additional factors influencing adult literacy trends.

ALE Journal Volume 5, Issue 1

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