Tempo effects may distort the interpretation of trends in life expectancy

Recently, a new interpretation problem of trends in period life expectancy has been discussed in the demographic literature. The so-called tempo effects arise if large numbers of deaths are suddenly postponed. In such conditions, the life table inflates longevity gains in the population because it weights avoided deaths with the full remaining life expectancy. This article explains how such effects occur and indicates their relevance using an illustrative example.

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