Introduction: Intergenerational Transmissions of Infant Mortality using the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS)
Keywords:Infant mortality, Longitudinal data, Historical demography, Intermediate Data Structure, Intergenerational transmissions
It has previously been shown that infant mortality clusters in a subset of families, a phenomenon which was observed in historical populations as well as contemporary developing countries. A transmission of death clustering across generations has also been shown in Belgium, but it is unknown whether such effects are specific to the studied context or are also found in other areas. The current article introduces a special issue devoted to analysing intergenerational transmissions of infant mortality across the maternal line in Belgium, the Netherlands, northern and southern Sweden, and Norway. Taking advantage of the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS), the five empirical studies created datasets for analysis and ran statistical models using exactly the same programs, which are also published within the special issue. These works are the first set of studies using the IDS on several databases for comparative purposes. Consistent results across the studied contexts were shown: transfers of infant mortality across the maternal line were seen in all five areas. In addition, the works have shown that there are large advantages of adopting the IDS for historical demographic research. The structure has in fact allowed researchers to conduct studies which were fully comparable, transparent and replicable.
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