Some of the most important questions in social science and public policy relate to how individuals’ lives and experiences have changed across time. However, most late 19th and 20th century data are cross-sectional—large sets of individuals at one point in time.
This project is transforming vital records data (birth, marriage, and death certificates) into the Longitudinal, Intergenerational Family Electronic Micro-Database (LIFE-M), the first longitudinal and intergenerational micro-database to span much of the late 19th and 20th centuries. LIFE-M’s methodological innovation is the use of birth certificate data as a basis for historical record linking on an unprecedented scale.
Once completed LIFE-M will facilitate the study of economic and geographic mobility and family formation and dissolution over the 20th century. It will also enhance our understanding of the long-term impacts of adverse events, public policies, or family background.
Please see this presentation from November 2016 for more information.