Studies conducted in historical populations and developing countries have evidenced the existence of clustering in infant deaths, which could be related to genetic inheritance, early life exposures, and/or to social and cultural factors such as education, socioeconomic status or parental care. A transmission of death clustering has also been found across generations.
This contribution is part of an international comparative initiative with the aim to assess the analytical power of the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) in a study of possible intergenerational transmissions of death in infancy. An evaluation of the data in applied research will be useful for further development of the IDS structure and for its future use in comparative research. An additional methodological aim for this part of the study is to evaluate and compare different models for statistical analysis of intergenerational transfers.
The Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) provides a common structure for storing and sharing historical demographic data. The structure also facilitates the construction of different open-access software to extract information from these tables and construct new variables. The article Using the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) to Construct Files for Analysis (Quaranta 2015) presented a series of concepts and programs that allow the user to construct a rectangular episodes file for longitudinal statistical analysis using data stored in the IDS.
The use of longitudinal historical micro-level demographic data for research presents many challenges. The Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) was developed to try to solve some of these challenges by facilitating the storing and sharing of such data. This article proposes an extension to the IDS, which allows the standardization and storage of constructed variables. It also describes how to produce a rectangular episodes file for statistical analysis from data stored in the IDS and presents programs developed for such purpose.