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Age-specific contributions to changes in the period and cohort life expectancy


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  • Vladimir Canudas-Romo

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Robert Schoen

    (Pennsylvania State University)

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    Period life expectancy has increased more slowly than its cohort counterpart. This paper explores the differences between life expectancies at a given time (the gap) and the time required for period life expectancy to reach the current level of cohort life expectancy (the lag). Additionally, to understand the disparity between the two life expectancies we identify and compare age-specific contributions to change in life expectancy. Using mortality models and historical data for Sweden, we examine the effect of mortality changes over time. Our results indicate that the widening of the gap between the two life expectancies is primarily a consequence of the dramatic mortality decline at older ages that occurred during the twentieth century. These results imply that the divergence between the two measures is likely to become even greater in the future as reductions in deaths are concentrated at older ages.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 63-82

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:13:y:2005:i:3

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    Keywords: age-specific decomposition; cohort life expectancy; gap and lag; life expectancy; mortality models; period life expectancy;

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    1. Noreen Goldman & Graham Lord, 1986. "A new look at entropy and the life table," Demography, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 275-282, May.
    2. John Bongaarts & Griffith Feeney, 2002. "How Long Do We Live?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(1), pages 13-29.
    3. S. Mitra, 1978. "A short note on the taeuber paradox," Demography, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 621-623, November.
    4. Roland Pressat, 1985. "Contribution des écarts de mortalité par âge à la différence des vies moyennes," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 40(04-mai), pages 766-770.
    5. John Bongaarts, 2005. "Long-range trends in adult mortality: Models and projection methods," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 23-49, February.
    6. Lloyd Demetrius, 1979. "Relations between demographic parameters," Demography, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 329-338, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Michal Engelman & Hal Caswell & Emily Agree, 2014. "Why do lifespan variability trends for the young and old diverge? A perturbation analysis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(48), pages 1367-1396, May.
    2. Vladimir Canudas-Romo, 2008. "The modal age at death and the shifting mortality hypothesis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(30), pages 1179-1204, July.
    3. Eckart Bomsdorf & Bernhard Babel, 2008. "Zur zukünftigen Entwicklung der Lebenserwartung in den G7-Ländern – Modellrechnungen bis 2050," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(01), pages 21-25, 01.


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