Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/25295
Authors: 
Reichmuth, Wolfgang H.
Sarferaz, Samad
Year of Publication: 
2008
Series/Report no.: 
SFB 649 discussion paper 2008,052a
Abstract: 
We present a new way to model age-specific demographic variables, using the example of age-specific mortality in the United States, building on the LeeCarter approach and extending it in several dimensions. We incorporate covariates and model their dynamics jointly with the latent variables underlying mortality of all age classes. In contrast to previous models, a similar development of adjacent age groups is assured, allowing for consistent forecasts. We develop an appropriate Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate the parameters and the latent variables in an efficient one-step procedure. Via the Bayesian approach we are able to assess uncertainty intuitively by constructing error bands for the forecasts. We observe that in particular parameter uncertainty is important for long-run forecasts. This implies that existing forecasting methods, which ignore certain sources of uncertainty, may yield misleadingly sure predictions. To test the forecast ability of our model we perform in-sample and out-of-sample forecasts up to 2050, revealing that covariates can help improve the forecasts for particular age classes. A structural analysis of the relationship between age-specific mortality and covariates is conducted in a companion paper.
Subjects: 
Demography
age-specific mortality
LeeCarter
stochastic
Bayesian state space models
forecasts
JEL: 
C11
C32
C53
I10
J11
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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