Department of Economics and Business Economics

Modelling Socio-Economic Differences in the Mortality of Danish Males Using a New Affluence Index

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  • Andrew J.G. Cairns, Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences and Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
  • Malene Kallestrup-Lamb
  • Carsten Paysen T. Rosenskjold
  • ,
  • David Blake, Pensions Institute, Cass Business School, City University of Londo, United Kingdom
  • Kevin Dowd, Durham University Business School, United Kingdom
We investigate and model how the mortality of Danish males aged 55-94 has changed over the period 1985-2012. We divide the population into ten socio-economic subgroups using a new measure of affluence that combines wealth and income reported on the Statistics Denmark national register database. The affluence index, in combination with sub-group lockdown at age 67, is shown to provide consistent sub-group rankings based on crude death rates across all ages and over all years in a way that improves significantly on previous studies that have focused on life expectancy. The gap between the most and least affluent is confirmed to be widest at younger ages and has widened over time.
We introduce a new multi-population mortality model that fits the historical mortality data very well and generates smoothed death rates that can be used to model a larger number of smaller sub-groups than has been previously possible without losing the essential character of the raw data.
The model produces bio-demographically reasonable forecasts of mortality rates that preserve the sub-group rankings at all ages. It also satisfies reasonableness criteria related to the term structure of correlations across ages and over time through consideration of future death and survival rates.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016
SeriesCREATES Research Papers
Number2016-14

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