Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

A flexible two-dimensional mortality model for use in indirect estimation

TitleA flexible two-dimensional mortality model for use in indirect estimation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWilmoth, J, Zureick, S, Canudas-Romo, V, Inoue, M, Sawyer, C
JournalPopul Stud (Camb)
ISBN Number1477-4747 (Electronic) 0032-4728 (Linking)

Mortality estimates for many populations are derived using model life tables, which describe typical age patterns of human mortality. We propose a new system of model life tables as a means of improving the quality and transparency of such estimates. A flexible two-dimensional model was fitted to a collection of life tables from the Human Mortality Database. The model can be used to estimate full life tables given one or two pieces of information: child mortality only, or child and adult mortality. Using life tables from a variety of sources, we have compared the performance of new and old methods. The new model outperforms the Coale-Demeny and UN model life tables. Estimation errors are similar to those produced by the modified Brass logit procedure. The proposed model is better suited to the practical needs of mortality estimation, since both input parameters are continuous yet the second one is optional.