About Time


Can age, period and cohort effects help explain support for Quebec sovereignty? Previous work on this question has focused mostly on the effects of age and cohort. We contribute to this debate by adding a period perspective. As such, our study is the first to investigate the impact of age, cohort and period effects in a single study of opinion towards sovereignty in Quebec. We take advantage of an original dataset that includes survey data collected between 1985 and 2012. We use these data to examine the impact of age, birth year and survey year on support for this constitutional option among francophone Quebeckers. Our results are in line with previous work: we show that younger Quebeckers are more likely to support sovereignty, and that some cohorts – namely, respondents born between 1945 and 1959 – are also more likely to favour this option. Perhaps more surprisingly, we find that specific events are comparatively the most important factor to explain fluctuations in Quebeckers’ attitudes towards sovereignty.

This content has been updated on 16 April 2018 at 8 h 59 min.