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Sensitivity of life disparity with respect to changes in mortality rates


  • Peter Wagner

    (Max-Planck-Institut für Demografische Forschung)


This article is concerned with sensitivity analysis of life disparity with respect to changes in mortality rates. A relationship is derived that describes the effect on life disparity caused by a perturbation of the force of mortality. Recently Zhang and Vaupel introduced a "threshold age", before which averting deaths reduces disparity, while averting deaths after that age increases disparity. I provide a refinement to this result by characterizing the ages at which averting deaths has an extremal impact on life disparity. The results are illustrated using data for the female populations of Denmark in 1835, and for the United States in 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Wagner, 2010. "Sensitivity of life disparity with respect to changes in mortality rates," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(3), pages 63-72, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:23:y:2010:i:3

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    Cited by:

    1. Tomasz Wrycza, 2014. "Entropy of the Gompertz-Makeham mortality model," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(49), pages 1397-1404, May.
    2. Alyson Raalte & Hal Caswell, 2013. "Perturbation Analysis of Indices of Lifespan Variability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1615-1640, October.

    More about this item


    life disparity; mortality analysis; sensitivity analysis; threshold age;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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