MPIDR Working Paper

A validation workflow for mortality forecasting

Duerst, R., Schöley, J., Bohk-Ewald, C.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2023-020, 27 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (April 2023)
Open Access


Accurate mortality forecasts are essential for decision makers to plan for changing needs of pension and other social security systems. Researchers have developed a variety of methods with increasing methodological complexity to forecast mortality developments. We introduce a method validation workflow designed for mortality forecasts. The aim of our workflow is to assess the suitability of forecast method depending on the prevailing mortality regime in the country of interest. For our analysis, we apply our workflow to short-term Lee-Carter forecasts for 24 countries to showcase different mortality regimes. We assess Lee-Carter's forecast performance on the life expectancy and lifespan disparity at birth. We show that the mortality regime in the country of interest plays a crucial role for the performance of a forecast method. Thus, our method validation workflow helps researchers to choose an appropriate mortality forecast method.

Keywords: forecasts, mortality
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.