Identifying and modelling cohorts with especially favourable mortality experience

Michael Murphy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Particular attention has recently been given to cohorts in Britain born around 1930 that are described as ‘Golden cohorts’, because they appear to have experienced greater mortality improvements than immediately surrounding cohorts. Similar patterns have been identified in some but not all other countries. Approaches to identifying such cohorts using long-range mortality data series from countries such as Britain, France and Sweden, and countries with shorter data availability, but with more pronounced patterns such as Japan are discussed. These include use of numerical derivatives based on super-smoothers and penalised splines, and some recent developments of APC models. Alternative explanations based on an Epidemiological Transition framework that might be expected to lead to similar cohort-like patterns in earlier cohorts are examined, especially in relation to sex differentials in period and cohort mortality patterns.

Presented in Session 49: Gender relevant mortality research