Explaining Mortality Dynamics: The Role of Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Cause of Death Trends

North American Actuarial Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 290-314, 2011

51 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 data for six OECD countries over the period 1950-2006, this paper studies the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations and cause of death trends on mortality dynamics in the Lee-Carter mortality forecasting model. The key results of this study are: (i) Periods can be identified in which the Lee-Carter mortality index kt correlates significantly with macroeconomic fluctuations. (ii) A few causes of death such as diseases of the circulatory system, influenza and pneumonia, and diabetes mellitus account for a large fraction of the variations in the Lee-Carter mortality index kt. (iii) Most cause-specific mortality rates show pronounced trends over the past decades. These trends change the composition of deaths and alter how total mortality reacts to external factors such as macroeconomic fluctuations.

Keywords: stochastic mortality, Lee-Carter model, external factors, cause-specific mortality

JEL Classification: J11, E32

Suggested Citation

Hanewald, Katja, Explaining Mortality Dynamics: The Role of Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Cause of Death Trends (January 10, 2012). North American Actuarial Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 290-314, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1336888

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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