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Shaping human mortality patterns through intrinsic and extrinsic vitality processes


  • Ting Li

    (Renmin University of China)

  • James Anderson

    (University of Washington)


Human mortality patterns are modeled as the loss of an individual’s vitality, a measure of survival capacity, by senescence or when random extrinsic challenges exceed the remaining vitality. The model characterizes the stochastic rate of loss of vitality as a Wiener process and random extrinsic challenges as a Poisson process with exponentially distributed intensity. The model merges vitality and age-dependent mortally rate models into a framework that captures patterns of mortality from birth through senescence. The model provides a vitality-centric explanation for the increase in Swedish longevity over two centuries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ting Li & James Anderson, 2013. "Shaping human mortality patterns through intrinsic and extrinsic vitality processes," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(12), pages 341-372, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:28:y:2013:i:12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klasen, Stephan, 1998. "Marriage, Bargaining, and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Excess Female Mortality among Adults during Early German Development, 1740–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 432-467, June.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:thpobi:v:76:y:2009:i:2:p:118-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anatoli Yashin & Ivan Iachine & Alexander Begun, 2000. "Mortality modeling: A review," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 305-332.
    5. Diderichsen, Finn, 1990. "Health and social inequities in Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 359-367, January.
    6. 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. repec:eee:thpobi:v:109:y:2016:i:c:p:54-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ji Cha & Maxim Finkelstein, 2015. "A dynamic stress–strength model with stochastically decreasing strength," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 78(7), pages 807-827, October.
    3. repec:gam:jrisks:v:5:y:2017:i:3:p:34-:d:103621 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    adult mortality; extrinsic mortality; intrinsic mortality; mortality; stochastic processes; vitality;

    JEL classification:

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


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