EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Human lifetime entropy in a historical perspective (1750–2014)

Patrick Meyer () and Gregory Ponthiere ()
Additional contact information
Patrick Meyer: Université Bretagne Loire

Cliometrica, 2020, vol. 14, issue 1, No 5, 129-167

Abstract: Abstract This paper uses Shannon’s entropy index to the base 2 to quantify the risk relative to the age at death in terms of bits (i.e. the amount of information revealed by tossing a fair coin). We first provide a simple decomposition of Shannon’s lifetime entropy index that allows us to analyse the determinants of lifetime entropy (in particular its relation with Wiener’s entropy of the event “death at a particular age conditional on survival to that age”) and to study how the risk about the duration of life is resolved as the individual becomes older. Then, using data on 37 countries from the Human Mortality Database, we show that, over the last two centuries, (period) lifetime entropy at birth has exhibited, in all countries, an inverted-U shape pattern with a maximum in the first half of the twentieth century (at 6 bits), and reaches, in the early twenty-first century, 5.6 bits for men and 5.5 bits for women. It is also shown that the entropy age profile shifted from a non-monotonic profile (in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) to a strictly decreasing profile (in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries).

Keywords: Mortality risk; Longevity; Age at death; Entropy; Measurement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D80 J11 N30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11698-019-00185-y Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
Journal Article: Human lifetime entropy in a historical perspective (1750–2014) (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Human lifetime entropy in a historical perspective (1750–2014) (2020)
Working Paper: Human lifetime entropy in a historical perspective (1750–2014) (2020)
Working Paper: Human Lifetime Entropy in a Historical Perspective (1750-2014) (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Human Lifetime Entropy in a Historical Perspective (1750-2014) (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Human Lifetime Entropy in a Historical Perspective (1750-2014) (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:cliomt:v:14:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-019-00185-y

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11698

DOI: 10.1007/s11698-019-00185-y

Access Statistics for this article

Cliometrica is currently edited by Claude Diebolt

More articles in Cliometrica from Springer, Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

 
Page updated 2020-07-04
Handle: RePEc:spr:cliomt:v:14:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-019-00185-y