Volume 13 - Article 24 | Pages 597–614  

Lifesaving, lifetimes and lifetables

By James W. Vaupel


Mortality change roils period rates. In the short term, conventional calculations of age-specific probabilities of death and life expectancy in the period immediately after the change depend on how many lives have been saved. In the long term, the probabilities and period life expectancy also depend on how long these lives have been saved. When mortality is changing, calculations of period life expectancy do not, except in special circumstances, measure the life expectancy of a cohort of newborns that hypothetically live all their lives under the new mortality regime.

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