Apr 20, 2010

What is the importance of the Integrated Fertility Survey Series?

Though researchers from a broad range of disciplines have produced a large body of research on patterns in families and fertility, the ability to make comparisons over time -- a central task for understanding family change -- has been constrained by difficulties in using multiple datasets to perform time-series analyses. Such difficulties include changes in respondent universe, weighting procedures, imputation protocols, question wording, and variable availability across studies. This is especially true when attempting to include surveys from the earlier years. The IFSS project attempts to address these limitations by developing a data set that allows for comparisons across longer periods than were previously feasible. The primary aim of the IFSS is to establish a harmonized set of data and documentation across ten nationally representative surveys of fertility and family. It is expected that harmonization of common variables across multiple surveys will allow researchers, policymakers, students, and other constituencies to make comparisons across time.