Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Mortality compression

Principle researcher

Fanny Janssen


Joop de Beer (NIDI, the Hague, NL)

Valentin Rousson and Fred Paccaud (Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital Center, Lausanne, Switzerland)


Recently a lot of attention has been drawn to the age pattern of dying – and the related survival curve - and trends therein over time.

Most papers focused on describing the changes over time, and in doing so they either focused on either overall compression or compression above the modal age. Partly as a result of this, the evidence on the post-war importance of compression of the age of dying and the likelihood of a transition towards a shifting mortality regime is mixed.

In the subproject with Joop de Beer, we extend the previous work by developing a model that distinguishes between compression before the modal age and compression after the modal age. The model will be used to assess the importance of these two types of compression next to a possible shift of the age pattern of mortality to the right. We intend to use this model to describe the decline in adult mortality in 10 European low-mortality countries plus Japan and USA over the period 1970-2009.

The subproject with Valentin Rousson and Fred Paccaud adds to the recent literature by focusing on the explanation of the observed trends and the respective roles of rectangularization and longevity extension. More in particular we explore the role of smoking in the changes in the survival curves in ten European countries over the period 1950 to 1999.

Papers in progress

Decline in adult mortality: recent transitions in the contribution of compression below and after the modal age at dying (Janssen & De Beer)


Rectangularization of survival curves and smoking: an empirical study in ten high income countries ( Janssen, F., Rousson V. and F. Paccaud)

A new model for disentangling the effects of delay and compression of adult mortality on the increase in life expectancy (De Beer, J. and F. Janssen)

Last modified:25 March 2014 3.51 p.m.