A Note on Pandemic Mortality Rates

10 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2021

Date Written: March 16, 2021


This paper considers a population being affected by a mortality stress during a limited period of time. It has recently been suggested that the mortality stress during a pandemic can be viewed as a temporary shift in apparent age. We instead suggest to use a frailty based model where the baseline mortality rate is being stressed. This approach will in a natural way imply post-pandemic mortality rates at the population level.

In particular, analytical results concerning the population mortality rate during and after a pandemic are derived. Under general assumptions it is shown that, compared to a non stressed scenario, the mortality is higher during the pandemic and lower after.

These general results are exemplified for the Gompertz-Makeham law where more precise results can be obtained using its proportional frailty representation.

The results are illustrated based on COVID-19 data for the Swedish population and we estimate the effect of the pandemic on the expected life time of an individual.

Keywords: Proportional frailty, pandemic mortality stress, selection effects, Gompertz-Makeham, COVID-19

JEL Classification: C02

Suggested Citation

Andersson, Patrik and Lindholm, Mathias, A Note on Pandemic Mortality Rates (March 16, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3805881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3805881

Patrik Andersson

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20

Mathias Lindholm (Contact Author)

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91

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