A Unifying Framework for Assessing Changes in Life Expectancy Associated with Changes in Mortality: The Case of Violent Deaths

Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, University of Southern California
Samir Soneji, University of Pennsylvania

Policymakers often require an assessment of possible gains in life expectancy that could results from large-scale public health campaigns aimed at reducing mortality for specific ages and causes of death. Equally important is assessing the contribution of observed decline in a particular cause of death on observed gains in life expectancy. For forty years, demographers have worked intensively to develop methods that address these important issues. As yet, there has been no framework unifying these important works. In this paper, we provide a unifying framework for assessing the change in life expectancy given any conceivable change in age and cause-specific mortality. We consider both conceptualizations of mortality change counterfactual assessment of a hypothetical change and a retrospective assessment of an observed change. We apply our methodology to violent deaths, the leading cause of death among young adults, and show that realistic targeted reductions could have important impacts on life expectancy.

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Presented in Session 103: Measures and Methods for Fertility and Mortality Analysis