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The relative tail of longevity and the mean remaining lifetime

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  • Maxim Finkelstein

    (University of the Free State)

  • James W. Vaupel

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research)

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    Abstract

    Vaupel (1998) posed the provocative question, “When it comes to death, how do people and flies differ from Toyotas?†He suggested that as the force of natural selection diminishes with age, structural reliability concepts can be profitably used in mortality analysis. Vaupel (2003) went a step further, using simulations to investigate the impact of redundancy, repair capacity, and heterogeneity on the relative length of post-reproductive life spans, called relative tails of longevity. His 2003 paper showed that structural redundancy and the possibility of repair decrease the relative tail of longevity, whereas greater heterogeneity increases it. Here, we consider the problem in much greater generality and prove these results analytically. Structures with repairable and non-repairable components are considered. Heterogeneity is described by a frailty-type model and different definitions of the tail of longevity are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 7 (February)
    Pages: 111-138

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:14:y:2006:i:7

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: frailty; heterogeneity; life expectancy; life span; mortality; mortality rate; tail of longevity;

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    1. A. R. Thatcher, 1999. "The long-term pattern of adult mortality and the highest attained age," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 162(1), pages 5-43.
    2. Vaupel, James W, 1998. "Demographic Analysis of Aging and Longevity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 242-47, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Maxim S. Finkelstein, 2009. "Understanding the shape of the mixture failure rate (with engineering and demographic applications)," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2009-031, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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