Convergence and divergence tendencies among European countries: possibilities of study and position of the Czech Republic according to recent mortality development

Dan Kašpar, Charles University in Prague
Klara Hulikova Tesarkova, Charles University in Prague
Pavel Zimmermann, University of Economics, Prague (VSE)

Study of convergence and divergence tendencies could be taken as an almost separate field of research in demography. In the proposed paper a simple method of quantification and visualization of convergence tendencies is proposed. For an illustration the Czech Republic was selected. The aim of the paper is to find and apply any simple method of measuring and analyzing the convergence tendencies of one studied country to several other countries. We focused on mortality process where necessary data are available in a unique structure for most of the European countries (from the Human Mortality Database). The analysis was based on life expectancy at the age of 35 and 65 years. For the analysis only those countries were selected, where the life expectancy at both the selected ages was higher than in the Czech Republic in the initial year of the analysis, i.e. in 2009. The analysis was based on the assumption that the development of selected indicators could be modeled by any simple parameter function. The simple linear function was evaluated and it was proved that such a function could be used for expressing the development of life expectancy at selected countries in 1990 to 2009. Using that function it is simple to estimate the year of equalization of the regression functions in any analyzed countries. Several methods of visualization are introduced based on the time duration needed for the equalization – maps and charts. Using the proposed method it was showed that the “demographic nearest neighbor” in a mortality point of view for the Czech Republic is Denmark – for males as well as for females. Easily such an approach could be applied to any other country.

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Presented in Poster Session 2