Life Expectancy in Developed Countries is Higher Than Conventionally Estimated. Implications from Improved Measurement of Human Longevity
Both the centuries-long tradition of conventional lifespan indicators and the more recent criticism to them ignore the true exposures of individuals to prevailing mortality levels. These exposures form a genuine part of a more comprehensive picture of the prevailing mortality conditions. In low-mortality countries, our estimated duration of human life exceeds the conventional estimates by 15 years. Our theory implies that mortality dynamics are characterised by a considerable inertia. This is used to develop new methods of forecasting, leading to a more optimistic outlook for future mortality.
KeywordsLongevity Life table Mortality Life expectancy Tempo effect
Various aspects of the approach were discussed at the European Population Conference 2010, at several meetings of the Tempo-Effect Interest Group/TEIG at Vienna Institute of Demography, the Tempo Working Group at Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, workshops of the Population Research Institute at Nihon University (Tokyo) and the Center of Demographic Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. I thank S. Scherbov, J. Goldstein and M. Guillot for comments.
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