Volume 13 - Article 15 | Pages 363–388  

The effects of war losses on mortality estimates for Italy: A first attempt

By Dana Glei, Silvia Bruzzone, Graziella Caselli

This article is part of the Special Collection 4 "Human Mortality over Age, Time, Sex, and Place: The 1st HMD Symposium"


For countries that experience substantial war losses in a given time period, the exclusion of military deaths can have an important impact on estimates of mortality and life expectancy. In this paper, we start by reviewing Vallin’s work in accounting for French war losses. We then attempt to apply comparable methods to Italy in order to account for the effects of war. The results indicate that estimates currently available from the Human Mortality Database (HMD) greatly underestimate period mortality during wartime among all Italian males, and may even underestimate mortality among civilian males. Finally, we discuss how failing to account for war mortality presents problems in making inter-country mortality comparisons.

Author's Affiliation

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