The effects of cohort and period mortality shocks on mortality at different ages

Mikko Myrskylä, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

I study how mortality at a given age depends on cohort and period mortality shocks using data for five European countries. I define cohort mortality shocks as deviations from trend in cohort’s own infant and early childhood mortality. Period shocks are defined as deviations from trend in early childhood mortality. I find that cohort mortality shocks are essentially unrelated to later mortality. Period shocks are strongly correlated with mortality at all ages, but at older ages the association weakens. The results are similar for men and women. These results suggest that fluctuations in mortality are driven by period conditions, and that cohort’s early life experiences have little if any effect on later mortality.

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Presented in Session 55: Life Cycle and Mortality

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