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Modelling Socio-Economic Differences in the Mortality of Danish Males Using a New Affluence Index


  • Andrew J.G. Cairns

    () (Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences and Heriot-Watt University 4AS, United Kingdom. E-mail:

  • Malene Kallestrup-Lamb

    () (Aarhus University and CREATES)

  • Carsten P.T. Rosenskjold

    () (Aarhus University and CREATES)

  • David Blake

    () (Pensions Institute, Cass Business School, City University of London)

  • Kevin Dowd

    () (Durham University Business School)


We investigate and model how the mortality of Danish males aged 55-94 has changed over the period 1985-2012. We divide the population into ten socio-economic subgroups using a new measure of affluence that combines wealth and income reported on the Statistics Denmark national register database. The affluence index, in combination with sub-group lockdown at age 67, is shown to provide consistent sub-group rankings based on crude death rates across all ages and over all years in a way that improves significantly on previous studies that have focused on life expectancy. The gap between the most and least affluent is confirmed to be widest at younger ages and has widened over time. We introduce a new multi-population mortality model that fits the historical mortality data very well and generates smoothed death rates that can be used to model a larger number of smaller sub-groups than has been previously possible without losing the essential character of the raw data. The model produces bio-demographically reasonable forecasts of mortality rates that preserve the sub-group rankings at all ages. It also satisfies reasonableness criteria related to the term structure of correlations across ages and over time through consideration of future death and survival rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew J.G. Cairns & Malene Kallestrup-Lamb & Carsten P.T. Rosenskjold & David Blake & Kevin Dowd, 2016. "Modelling Socio-Economic Differences in the Mortality of Danish Males Using a New Affluence Index," CREATES Research Papers 2016-14, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2016-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kaakaï, Sarah & Labit Hardy, Héloïse & Arnold, Séverine & El Karoui, Nicole, 2019. "How can a cause-of-death reduction be compensated for by the population heterogeneity? A dynamic approach," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 16-37.
    2. Guibert, Quentin & Lopez, Olivier & Piette, Pierrick, 2019. "Forecasting mortality rate improvements with a high-dimensional VAR," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 255-272.

    More about this item


    Danish mortality data; affluence; CBD-X model; gravity model; multipopulation mortality modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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