The Absolute and Relative Effects of Cohort and Period Mortality Shocks on Later Mortality

Mikko Myrskylä, University of Pennsylvania

I study the effects of cohort and period mortality shocks on later mortality using historical mortality time series for Denmark, England and Wales and Sweden. I define cohort shocks as unexpectedly high/low mortality rates at infancy and early childhood, and period shocks as unexpectedly high/low period mortality rates. The results suggest that for both men and women, cohort shocks measured from annual data are weakly if at all associated with mortality later in life, but period shocks are strongly and positively correlated with mortality at all ages. The effect of a period shock, however, declines with age, indicating that at older ages the proportion of variation not explained by cohort or period effects increases.

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Presented in Session 55: Methodological Issues in Health and Mortality