Factors Driving Aggregate Mortality Rates in Postwar Germany

Zeitschrift für die gesamte Versicherungswissenschaft, Vol. 99, No. 2, pp. 211–229, 2010

27 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2009 Last revised: 11 Jan 2012

See all articles by Katja Hanewald

Katja Hanewald

UNSW Sydney - School of Risk & Actuarial Studies and ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR)

Date Written: January 10, 2012

Abstract

Using German data over the period 1956-2006, this study provides a comprehensive empirical analysis of factors driving aggregate mortality rates over time. It differs from previous contributions in this field by simultaneously considering an extensive set of macroeconomic, socioeconomic, and ecological factors as explanatory variables. Our regression analysis shows that sex- and age-specific mortality rates vary substantially in their response to external factors. Strongest associations are found with changes in real GDP, flu epidemics, and the two lifestyle variables - alcohol and cigarette consumption - in both univariate and multivariate setups. Further analysis indicates that these effects are primarily contemporary, whereas other indicators, such as weather conditions, exert lagged effects. We derive optimal multivariate models for every age group that capture a substantial fraction of the observed variation in annual mortality change, and thereby confirm the relevance of the identified factors.

Keywords: Aggregate mortality, business cycle, socio-economic factors, multivariate model

JEL Classification: C32, I12, J11

Suggested Citation

Hanewald, Katja, Factors Driving Aggregate Mortality Rates in Postwar Germany (January 10, 2012). Zeitschrift für die gesamte Versicherungswissenschaft, Vol. 99, No. 2, pp. 211–229, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1336854

Katja Hanewald (Contact Author)

UNSW Sydney - School of Risk & Actuarial Studies and ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

School of Risk & Actuarial Studies
UNSW Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2052
Australia

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