MPIDR Working Paper

Harmonized histories: manual for the preparation of comparative fertility and union histories

Perelli-Harris, B., Kreyenfeld, M. R., Kubisch, K.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-011, 32 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2010)
Revised March 2015
Open Access


This document describes the standardization process of the Harmonized Histories. The Harmonized Histories is a comparative database of rich reproductive and union histories from surveys conducted in a number of countries in Europe. Given that birth and union data has been collected in a number of ways in different surveys, it has been very difficult to conduct cross-national analyses of recent union and fertility behavior over time. A team of researchers called the Nonmarital Childbearing Network has cleaned and standardized the surveys according to guidelines set out in this manual. Currently, the database includes data from the Generations and Gender Surveys (GGSs) in Italy, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Russia; the 2003 Dutch Fertility and Family Survey; and the British Household Panel Survey.
Keywords: Europe, family formation, fertility, surveys
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.