Mortality Improvement: The Most Efficient Country

Zhen Zhang, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Jim Oeppen, University of Cambridge

Oeppen (2008) proposed a concept of efficiency of mortality changes in terms of lifespan gains and found that the countries with the highest or very high life expectancy are usually among the most efficient. Considering the association between life expectancy and lifespan disparity, it is of interest to check whether and how closely the efficiency in increasing life expectancy is related to that in decreasing lifespan disparity. Furthermore, the existence of threshold age suggests that mortality changes before threshold age are favorable to gains in lifespan and against lifespan disparity, and thus the efficiencies regarding the two gains are comparable. Comparing the two efficiencies reveals that underlying the concomitant of high life expectancy and low lifespan disparity is the high resemblance of efficiency in terms of the rising of life expectancy and the falling of lifespan disparity. Best practice countries, with the highest life expectancy, are the most efficient in either sense.

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Presented in Session 169: Comparative Mortality Experiences