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Reexamining the Dominance of Birth Cohort Effects on Mortality

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  • Michael Murphy

Abstract

The association between birth cohort and subsequent mortality has been of interest especially following publication of studies around 1930 of cohorts born up to the latter part of the nineteenth century, particularly for England and Wales. Updated results are presented for this population, together with those for two other cohorts, twentieth-century Japanese and British populations born about 1930, which have been identified as having particularly clear-cut birth cohort patterns, and which are used to underpin incorporation of cohort effects in both British official and actuarial mortality forecasts. Graphical methods used to identify cohort patterns are discussed. A number of limitations and difficulties are identified that mean that the conclusions about the predominance of cohort effects are less robust than often assumed. It is argued that alternative explanations should be considered and that the concentration on birth cohorts with particularly advantaged patterns may distort research priorities. Copyright (c) 2010 The Population Council, Inc..

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  • Michael Murphy, 2010. "Reexamining the Dominance of Birth Cohort Effects on Mortality," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 365-390.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:36:y:2010:i:2:p:365-390
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    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0599-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alyson van Raalte & Pekka Martikainen & Mikko Myrskylä, 2014. "Lifespan Variation by Occupational Class: Compression or Stagnation Over Time?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 73-95, February.
    3. Hunt, Andrew & Villegas, Andrés M., 2015. "Robustness and convergence in the Lee–Carter model with cohort effects," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 186-202.
    4. Hunt, Andrew & Blake, David, 2015. "Modelling longevity bonds: Analysing the Swiss Re Kortis bond," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 12-29.
    5. Nadine Ouellette & Magali Barbieri & John R. Wilmoth, 2014. "Period-Based Mortality Change: Turning Points in Trends since 1950," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(1), pages 77-106, March.
    6. Man Chung Fung & Gareth W. Peters & Pavel V. Shevchenko, 2017. "Cohort effects in mortality modelling: a Bayesian state-space approach," Papers 1703.08282, arXiv.org.
    7. Arkadiusz Wiśniowski & Peter Smith & Jakub Bijak & James Raymer & Jonathan Forster, 2015. "Bayesian Population Forecasting: Extending the Lee-Carter Method," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(3), pages 1035-1059, June.

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