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A Quantitative Comparison of Mortality Models: Empirical Evidence

Ranjana Kesarwani


There has been a significant increase in worldwide life expectancy after the Second World War. With the decline in mortality level, most of the developed and developing countries including India are reanalyzing their mortality tables taking into account longevity risk. Therefore, search for feasible method for examining and projecting the mortality pattern has become an enormous issue in India. The United Nation model life table is the first model to examine the mortality age pattern and to consider the association between mortality of successive ages. The United Nation’s, Coale Demeny’s and Modified Brass logit models are three frequently used methods for modeling mortality dynamics. So this research examined which of the chosen three well know generalized mortality models best captured the Indian mortality for different as well as whole age groups. The study considered the goodness of fit of well known mortality models to population mortality rate over the period 1970-2010. Some of the findings that emerged were that South Asian pattern is tended to work best for both male and female infant and child death deaths in India. However Coale Demeny’s North model is presenting well Indian adult mortality pattern. As the knowledge of current mortality pattern is required for health policy, population projection etc.; but it is not possible to work with 2-3 patterns at the same time. So study concluded with remark that there is a need to develop such a model which will be able to explain entire mortality age pattern and this open the scope of further research in the same direction.


Mortality rates, United Nation’s model, Coale-Demeny model, WHO model

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