HSNDB: examples of research on mortality

08 December 2021 - 8:41

Uses of HSNDB datasets for research on mortality

What has been studied on mortality?

HSNDB contributed to the research on mortality in several ways. Firstly, it shed light on the debate about the consequences of industrialization on mortality rates. Some scientists argued that industrialization would increase social class differentials in mortality. In contrast, others believed that it could lower a social gap in mortality rates or have no effect, so that the social class differences would remain constant. 

HSNDB has been used by researchers who have been interested in whether infant and child mortality was dependent on the class position of a father or are there other more important predictors such as region or breastfeeding practices? Others studied what played an important role in the high mortality of illegitimates. Not only mortality during childhood was in the research focus. Attention has been also paid to the investigation of mortality across the life course. HSNDB database helped to answer the questions of how social class is related to teenage girls’ mortality or risk of maternal mortality; and why social class differences are barely notable at older ages.

Secondly, HSNDB register data added to the field of mortality caused by early and mid-life effects. It was studied how early life conditions, such as being born during economic crises, famine, or epidemic diseases, influence the life expectancy and risk of later-life diseases. As for the mid-life events, research contributed to our understanding of how the role of marriage or women’s fertility affects the age of death.

Variables used

  • age at death
  • ...

Example references

Alter, G., Dribe, M., & Van Poppel, F. (2007). Widowhood, family size, and post-reproductive mortality: a comparative analysis of three populations in nineteenth-century Europe. Demography, 44(4), 785-806.

Bengtsson, T., & Van Poppel, F. (2011). Socioeconomic inequalities in death from past to present: An introduction. Explorations in economic History, 48(3), 343-356.

Ekamper, P., Van Poppel, F., Van Duin, C., & Garssen, J. (2009). 150 Years of temperature-related excess mortality in the Netherlands. Demographic Research, 21, 385-426.

Lindeboom, M., Portrait, F., & Van den Berg, G. J. (2010). Long-run effects on longevity of a nutritional shock early in life: the Dutch Potato famine of 1846–1847. Journal of health economics, 29(5), 617-629.

Poppel, F. V., Schellekens, J., & Liefbroer, A. C. (2002). Religious differentials in infant and child mortality in Holland, 1855–1912. Population Studies, 56(3), 277-289.

Van Poppel, F., Jonker, M., & Mandemakers, K. (2005). Differential infant and child mortality in three Dutch regions, 1812–1909 1. The Economic History Review, 58(2), 272-309.

Van den Berg, G. J., Lindeboom, M., & Portrait, F. (2006). Economic conditions early in life and individual mortality. American Economic Review, 96(1), 290-302.

Schenk, N., & van Poppel, F. (2011). Social class, social mobility and mortality in the Netherlands, 1850–2004. Explorations in Economic History, 48(3), 401-417.