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Lively Questions for Demographers about Death at Older Ages

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  • James W. Vaupel

Abstract

This is an expanded version of comments on the future of the demography of aging at an invited session of the 2008 annual meeting of the Population Association of America. In an introduction, John Haaga offers reasons for a revival of interest in population aging, including greater realization of plasticity in aging trajectories at both individual and societal levels. Linda Martin proposes that population scientists working in aging emulate those studying fertility and family planning in previous decades, learning from interventions (in this case, aimed at increasing retirement savings and reducing disability at older ages). Changes in family structure will increasingly affect new cohorts of the elderly, and Linda Waite speculates on the ways in which changes in the economy, medicine, and the legal environment could affect the social context for aging. Research on mortality at older ages is "alive and well" asserts James Vaupel, who sets out six large questions on mortality trends and differentials over time and across species. Lastly, Wolfgang Lutz expands the scope of projections, showing the considerable uncertainty about the timing and pace of population aging in the developing world and the effects on future elderly of the increases in educational attainment in much of the world during the second half of the twentieth century. Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..

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  • James W. Vaupel, 2009. "Lively Questions for Demographers about Death at Older Ages," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 347-356.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:2:p:347-356
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Gurven & Hillard Kaplan, 2007. "Longevity Among Hunter- Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(2), pages 321-365.
    2. Samuel Preston & Haidong Wang, 2006. "Sex mortality differences in The United States: The role of cohort smoking patterns," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(4), pages 631-646, November.
    3. Fred C. Pampel, 2002. "Cigarette Use and the Narrowing Sex Differential in Mortality," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(1), pages 77-104.
    4. Fred Pampel, 2005. "Forecasting sex differences in mortality in high income nations," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(18), pages 455-484, November.
    5. Fred Pampel, 2003. "Declining sex differences in mortality from lung cancer in high-income nations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 45-65, February.
    6. James W. Vaupel & Annette Baudisch & Martin Dölling & Deborah A. Roach & Jutta Gampe, 2004. "The case for negative senescence," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Carter, Lawrence R. & Lee, Ronald D., 1992. "Modeling and forecasting US sex differentials in mortality," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 393-411, November.
    8. John Bongaarts & Griffith Feeney, 2002. "How Long Do We Live?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(1), pages 13-29.
    9. James Vaupel & Kenneth Manton & Eric Stallard, 1979. "The impact of heterogeneity in individual frailty on the dynamics of mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 16(3), pages 439-454, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Máire Ní Bhrolcháin, 2011. "Tempo and the TFR," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(3), pages 841-861, August.
    2. Lena Karlsson, 2013. "Indigenous life expectancy in Sweden 1850-1899: Towards a long and healthy life?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(16), pages 433-456, March.

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