Rotation of the age pattern of mortality improvements in the European Union

Vékás, Péter (2019) Rotation of the age pattern of mortality improvements in the European Union. Central European Journal of Operations Research . DOI

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Human mortality tends to decline in the long run, which is fortunate for humans, but less so for pension and health insurance schemes and annuity providers. Empirical studies have shown that rates of mortality improvement depend heavily on the age, gender and country in question, and additionally, they also tend to change in time. More specifically, the historical acceleration of mortality decreases among the elderly and a simultaneous slowdown of improvement at younger ages, which are sometimes jointly referred to as the rotation of the age pattern of mortality decline, have been observed in several populations. After a concise summary of the most relevant literature, this paper suggests a simple, largely data-driven methodology with few assumptions for the empirical examination of the rotation phenomenon in historical mortality datasets. These techniques are then applied on United Nations data from the period between 1950 and 2015 for both genders and all 28 countries of the European Union. The results indicate that rotation has indeed taken place in numerous member states, but its presence is far from universal, and it appears to have been notably more prevalent in populations of women than among men. Life expectancies seem to predict degrees of rotation only in the former Eastern bloc despite prominent literature that suggests otherwise, while increments of life expectancies over the observed period are better predictors of the degrees of rotation in the case of Western European women.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:mortality, actuarial science, demography, European Union, rotation
Subjects:Economic development
Projects:ÚNKP-17-4-I, EFOP-3.6.2-16-2017-00017
ID Code:5338
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:07 Apr 2020 10:30
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 10:30

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