Information on future mortality trends is essential for population forecasts, public health policy, actuarial studies, and many other purposes. Realising the importance of such needs, this volume contains contributions to the theory and practice of forecasting mortality in the relatively favourable circumstances in developed countries of Western Europe. In this context techniques from mathematical statistics and econometrics can provide useful descriptions of past mortality. The naive forecast obtained by extrapolating a fitted model may give as good a forecast as any but forecasting by extrapolation requires careful justification since it assumes the prolongation of historical conditions. On the other hand, whilst it is generally accepted that scientific and other advances will continue to impact on mortality, perhaps dramatically so, it is impossible to quantify more than the outline of future consequences with a strong degree of confidence. The decision to modify an extrapolation of a model fitted to historical data (or conversely choosing not to modify it) in order to obtain a forecast is therefore strongly influenced by subjective and judgmental elements, with the quality of the latter dependent on demographic, epidemiological and indeed perhaps more general considerations. The thread running through the book reflects therefore the necessity of integrating demographic, epidemiological, and statistical factors to obtain an improvement in the prediction of mortality.
Table of ContentsForeword. Preface. List of Authors. List of Figures. List of Tables. Part 1: Introduction. 1. A Review of Demographic Forecasting Models for Mortality. 2. A Review of Epidemiological Approaches to Forecasting Mortality and Morbidity. Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives on Forecasting Mortality. 3. A Regression Model of Mortality, with Application to the Netherlands. 4. Forecasting Mortality from Regression Models: the Case of the Netherlands. 5. Gompertz in Context: the Gompertz and Related Distributions. 6. Comparing Theoretical Age Patterns of Mortality Beyond the Age of 80. Part 3: From Theory to Practice. 7. Predicting Mortality from Period, Cohort or Cause-Specific Trends: a Study of Four European Countries. 8. Incorporating Risk Factor Epidemiology in Mortality Projections. 9. Projecting Mortality in Population Forecasts in the Netherlands. 10. The Latest Mortality Forecasts in the European Union. Part 4: Issues for the Future: More Consistency and Transparency. 11. Mortality Models Incorporating Theoretical Concepts of Ageing. 12. Towards an Integration of the Statistical, Demographic and Epidemiological Perspectives in Forecasting Mortality.