Estimating mean lifetime
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100(23): 13127-13133
Publication date: 2003
The life expectancy implied by current age-specific mortalityrates is calculated with life table methods that are among theoldest and most fundamental tools of demography. We demonstratethat these conventional estimates of period life expectancyare affected by an undesirable "tempo effect." The tempo effectis positive when the mean age at death is rising and negativewhen the mean is declining. Estimates of the effect for femalesin three countries with high and rising life expectancy rangefrom 1.6 yr in the U.S. and Sweden to 2.4 yr in France for theperiod 1980-1995.