Volume 14 - Article 1 | Pages 1–26

Tempo effects in mortality: An appraisal

By Michel Guillot

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Date received:09 Mar 2005
Date published:24 Jan 2006
Word count:8144
Keywords:demographic methods, formal demography, measurement issues, mortality models, tempo adjustment, tempo effects


This study examines the existence of tempo effects in mortality and evaluates the procedure developed by Bongaarts and Feeney for calculating a tempo-adjusted life expectancy. It is shown that Bongaarts and Feeney's index can be interpreted as an indicator reflecting current mortality conditions under specific assumptions regarding the effects of changing period mortality conditions on the timing of future cohort deaths.
It is argued, however, that currently there is no clear evidence about the existence of such effects in actual populations. This paper concludes that until the existence of these effects can be demonstrated, it is preferable to continue using the conventional life expectancy as an indicator of current mortality conditions.

Author's Affiliation

Michel Guillot - University of Pennsylvania, United States of America [Email]

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