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A Measure for Comparing the Mortality History of Cohorts: TCAL

16th April 2015 3pm, University of Southampton,Building 58, Room 1009

Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Max-Planck Odense Center on Biodemography of Aging

The commonly used period life expectancy comparisons between populations correspond to juxtapositions of current mortality levels. In order to construct actual life expectancies as experienced by cohorts one needs complete historical series of mortality, which are only found in a subset of developed countries. The Truncated Cross-sectional Average Length of life (TCAL) is a novel measure that captures historical information of all the cohorts present at a given moment and is not limited to countries with complete cohort mortality data. The value of TCAL depends on the rates used to complete the cohort series. However, differences between TCALs of two populations remain very similar irrespective of the data used to complete the cohort series. We illustrate this by comparing the mortality of the United States with Denmark, Japan, and other high-longevity countries using TCAL. Specific cohorts that account for most of the disparity in mortality between the populations are identified.