It is our pleasure to respond to the Editor’s request for a commentary on Luo’s article (this issue), which critically evaluates the utility of the intrinsic estimator (IE) that we first introduced to demography and sociology in Yang et al. (2004).

We first respond to the Editor’s request for “an assessment of the author’s argument, evidence, and conclusions.” It is truly unfortunate and fundamentally incorrect to interpret our stance on the IE method as seeing it a “holy grail” or “magic bullet” for the identification problem of the age-period-cohort (APC) accounting model/multiple classification model. Nowhere in our previous publications did we make such a claim. We were crystal clear about the circumstances in which a full-blown APC model should be used. And such circumstances equally apply to any estimator of full three-factor APC models, not just the IE. Luo completely lost sight of this starting point.

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