An index of inequality in age-at-death distributions across a group of countries based on the concept of the Equivalent Length of Life

Magdalena Muszynska, Warsaw School of Economics
Adam Szulc, Warsaw School of Economics
Fanny Janssen, University of Groningen

We propose a new method to quantify in a single measure differences in distribution of ages at death across a group of countries and further decompose to a contribution of selected parameters of the distribution to the total inequality. The proposed measure applies the concept of Equivalent Length of Life (ELL), as proposed by Silber(1983), to summarize distribution of ages at death in single countries. Advantage of the EEL over previously used indicators lies in the fact that it allows to compare distribution of ages of death taking into account two parameters of the distribution at the same time, that is life expectancy and dispersion of ages at death. We quantify differences between the values of the ELL in a group of countries by either standard deviation or Theil Index. We apply the proposed method to study differences in age-at-death distributions and their convergence/divergence across the countries of the Human Mortality Database in 1970-2010.

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Presented in Session 80: Longevity and measures of mortality