Volume 13 - Article 25 | Pages 615–640

Mortality tempo versus removal of causes of mortality: Opposite views leading to different estimations of life expectancy

By Hervé Le Bras

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Date received:14 Mar 2005
Date published:21 Dec 2005
Word count:6110
Keywords:cause of death, causes of mortality, cross-sectional life table, fictitious life table, life tables, mortality tempo, multiple decrement life table, reference life table


We propose an alternative way of dealing with mortality tempo. Bongaarts and Feeney have developed a model that assumes a fixed delay postponing each death. Our model, however, assumes that changes take place with the removal of a given cause of mortality. Cross-sectional risks of mortality by age and expectations of life therefore are not biased, contrary to the model of the two authors.
Treating the two approaches as two particular cases of a more general process, we demonstrate that these two particular cases are the only ones that have general properties: The only model enjoying a decomposable expression is the removal model and the only model enjoying the proportionality property is the fixed delay model.

Author's Affiliation

Hervé Le Bras - École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), France [Email]

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