Book Chapter

Revisiting mortality deceleration patterns in a Gamma-Gompertz-Makeham framework

Ribeiro, F. N., Missov, T. I.
In: Schoen, R. (Ed.): Dynamic demographic analysis, 117–146
The Springer series on demographic methods and population analysis 39
Cham, Springer (2016)


We calculate life-table aging rates (LARs) for overall mortality by estimating a gamma-Gompertz-Makeham model and taking advantage of LAR's parametric representation by Vaupel and Zhang (2010). For selected HMD countries, we study how the evolution of estimated LAR patterns could explain observed 1) longevity dynamics, and 2) mortality improvement or deterioration at different ages. Surprisingly, the age of mortality deceleration showed almost no correlation with a number of longevity measures apart from life expectancy at birth. In addition, as mortality concentrates at older ages with time, its characteristic bell-shaped pattern becomes more pronounced. Moreover, in a gamma-Gompertz-Makeham framework, we identify the impact of senescent mortality on the shape of the rate of population aging. We also find evidence for a strong relationship between the age of mortality deceleration and the statistically significant curvilinear changes in the evolution of life expectancy over time. Finally, model-based LARs appear to be consistent with point b) of the "heterogeneity hypothesis" (Horiuchi and Wilmoth 1997): mortality deceleration, due to selection effects, should shift to older ages as the level of total adult mortality declines.

Keywords: life expectancy, mortality decline, mortality trends
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