New ways to look at mortality deceleration

Roland Rau, University of Rostock
Magdalena Muszynska, Duke University
Annette Baudisch, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Throughout most of adult lifespan, mortality increases linearly on a logarithmic scale. At advanced ages, though, mortality levels off resulting in overestimating mortality if a Gompertzian shape is assumed. Most commonly this mortality deceleration is measured by the life-table aging rate, introduced by Horiuchi and colleagues, but also other methods were used. In this paper we present two alternative approaches to determine the age when mortality deceleration starts: 1) the age when mortality acceleration is at its maximum and b) the age when observed mortality deviates significantly from the exponential increase. After a theoretical justification, we show with empirical data that these two new methods are not only intuitively but also practically appealing.

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Presented in Session 156: Innovative approaches in life table application