The compression of deaths above the mode
Kannisto (2001) has shown that as the frequency distribution of ages at death has shifted to the right, the age distribution of deaths above the modal age has become more compressed. In order to further investigate this old-age mortality compression, we adopt the simple logistic model with two parameters, which is known to fit data on old-age mortality well (Thatcher 1999). Based on the model, we show that three key measures of old-age mortality (the modal age of adult deaths, the life expectancy at the modal age, and the standard deviation of ages at death above the mode) can be estimated fairly accurately from death rates at only two suitably chosen high ages (70 and 90 in this study). The distribution of deaths above the modal age becomes compressed when the logits of death rates fall more at the lower age than at the higher age. Our analysis of mortality time series in six countries, using the logistic model, endorsed Kannistoâ€™s conclusion. Some possible reasons for the compression are discussed.
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- Siu Cheung & Jean-Marie Robine & Edward Tu & Graziella Caselli, 2005. "Three dimensions of the survival curve: horizontalization, verticalization, and longevity extension," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 243-258, May.
- 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, vol. 162(1), pages 5-43.
- 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.
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