PhD project : New Approaches in Mortality
Modelling and Forecasting
University: Interdisciplinary Centre on Population
Dynamics, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences,
University of Southern Denmark
Supervisors: Dr. Carlo
Giovanni Camarda, Prof. James Oeppen, Prof. Vladimir Canudas-
Summary of PhD project:
The growing challenges linked to the rapid increase of the world
population, especially at older ages, have recently stimulated
renewed attention to the development of innovative models to portray
and forecast human mortality. Sharp mortality declines observed
during the last two centuries have indeed triggered a fast
acceleration of population growth since the beginning of the
nineteenth century (Maddison 2006). Additionally, virtually every
country in the world is experiencing growth in the number and
proportion of older persons, which creates funding problems for
social security and healthcare provision (Booth 20006; United
This dissertation aims to bring new insights on the analysis and
forecast of human mortality by introducing novel statistical methods
that offer novel perspectives on mortality developments.
The first chapter proposes a re-parametization of classic model of
human mortality into a general and flexible family of models. The
proposed location-scale family is characterized by two parameters
that have a direct demographic interpretation, which allow to easily
interpret and compare mortality developments across different
From the second to the fourth chapters, the attention is shifted to the
age-at-death distribution, which is a very useful but surprisingly
neglected function for the analysis and forecast of human mortality.
Specifically, the second chapter introduces a relational model that
allows to capture and forecast adult mortality developments by
modelling changes in the age-at-death distribution. In the third
chapter, the methodology is generalized and extended to the entire
age-range, thus including changes occurring to the childhood and
early adulthood components of mortality. The fourth chapter
presents an additional generalization of the methodology for the
analysis of cohort mortality data; in particular, mortality forecasts for
cohorts with partially observed data are presented and compared
Finally, the fifth chapter proposes a new extension of the seminal
Lee-Carter model, which allows to decompose and forecast mortality
changes for the three components of human mortality already
analyzed in the third chapter.
Basellini, U. and Camarda, C.G. (2019). "Modelling and Forecasting Adult Age-at-death Distributions". Population Studies. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00324728.2018.1545918
Basellini, U., Canudas-Romo, V., and Lenart, A. (2018). "Location–Scale Models in Demography: A Useful Re- parameterization of Mortality Models". European Journal of Population. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10680-018-9497-x
Basellini, U. and Camarda, C.G. (2018). "A Three- Component Lee-Carter approach to decompose and forecast human mortality". Proceedings of the 33rd International Workshop on Statistical Modelling Bristol (UK). 15-20 July, 2018. 17-22. Link: https://people.maths.bris.ac.uk/~sw15190/IWSM2018/IWSM33- 2.pdf
Sutter, A., Barton, S., Sharma, M.D., Basellini, U., Hosken, D.J., and Archer, C.R. (2018). "Senescent declines in elite tennis players are similar across the sexes", Behavioral Ecology. Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary112
Archer, C.R., Basellini, U., Hunt, J., Simpson, S.J., Lee, K.P., Baudisch, A. (2018). "Diet has independent effects on the pace and shape of aging in Drosophila melanogaster". Biogerontology, vol. 19, p. 1-12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-017-9729-1
Gigliarano, C., Basellini, U. and Bonetti, M. (2017). "Longevity and concentration in survival times : the log-scale- location family of failure time models". Lifetime Data Analysis, vol. 23, n°2, p.254-274. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10985-016-9356-1
"Presentations in LaTeX". European Doctoral School
of Demography (EDSD) 2017-2018 & 2018-2019
84th Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA,
Austin, Texas, April 2019). Oral presentation of "An age-at-death
distribution approach to forecast cohort mortality".
Population Days (PopDays) Conference 2019 (Milan, Italy,
January 2019). Oral presentation of "An age-at-death distribution
approach to forecast cohort mortality" & "Do senescent declines in
elite tennis players differ across the sexes?"
Workshop on Forecasting Danish Life Expectancy and Age at
Retirement (Odense, Denmark, December 2018). Oral presentation of
"An Age-at-Death Distribution Approach to Forecast Cohort
33rd International Workshop on Statistical Modelling (IWSM) 2018
(Bristol, UK, July 2018). Poster presentation of "A Three-Component
Lee-Carter approach to decompose and forecast human mortality".
European Population Conference (EPC) 2018 (Brussels, Belgium,
June 2018). Oral presentation of "Extending the Lee-Carter
Model to the Three Components of Human Mortality".
Tel Aviv Workshop on Inequality and Uncertainty in Length of Life (Tel
Aviv, Israel, May 2018). Oral presentation of "Life expectancy and
lifespan equality: A long-run relationship with recent interruptions".
83rd Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA,
Denver, Colorado, April 2018). Oral presentation of "Extending the
Lee-Carter Model to the Three Components of Human Mortality"
28th IUSSP International Population Conference (Cape Town, South
Africa, October 2017). Oral presentation of "Modeling and
Forecasting Age at Death Distributions: A Nonparametric Approach".
13th International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions
Conference (Taipei, Taiwan, September 2017). Oral presentation of
"Modeling and Forecasting Age-at-death Distributions".
MaxNetAging XII Conference (Rostock, Germany, May 2017). Oral
presentation of "Modeling and Forecasting Age-at-death
Distributions" & joint presentation of "Life expectancy and lifespan
equality: a long-run relationship" (with J.M. Aburto).
IUSSP Seminar on Mortality analysis and forecasting (New Delhi,
India, April 2017). Oral presentation of "Modeling and Forecasting
Age at death Distributions".
Population Days (PopDays) Conference 2017 (Florence, Italy,
February 2017). Oral presentation of "Modeling and Forecasting Age
at death Distributions".
European Population Conference (EPC) 2016 (Mainz, Germany,
September 2016). Oral presentation of "Modeling and Forecasting
Age at death Distributions".
European Journal of Population
Genus: Journal of Population Sciences
Asian Population Studies
Journal of Population Research