21 February 2012 - 22 February 2012
San José, Costa Rica

Workshop on alternative assumptions of future mortality in low mortality countries

The workshop brought together a number of leading scholars of mortality in low mortality populations to develop a series of alternative assumptions about future trends in life expectancy.

The goal of the workshop at the Centroamericano de Poblacion was for scholars to combine their assumptions about low mortality populations with assumptions about fertility and migration to produce probabilistic population projections for all countries in the world.

The workshop aimed to develop assumptions based on a more transparent, science-based methodology that narrows the gap between substantive scientific analyses and assumption making.

The projection exercise, which is the first project of the new Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, aimed to produce a set of science-based world population projections by age, sex, and level of educational attainment for individual countries. The approach builds and refines a methodology used in previous rounds of projections developed at the World Population Program at IIASA.

The key element of this approach is the standard questionnaire that covers about 30 arguments that are likely to shape the future trajectories of fertility, mortality, and migration. Using the questionnaire, members of international professional demographic associations were invited to assess the validity of the arguments in a peer-review manner, based on their research experience and substantive knowledge. The results of the questionnaire were presented and discussed during the workshop in San José.

Together with a state-of-knowledge review that compared and contrasted the conceptual models that guide research in the field, the questionnaire results will provide a firm foundation for developing the mortality assumptions for our projections, which was the main aim of the workshop.

The workshop was funded by an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council, “Forecasting Societies Adaptive Capacities to Climate Change,” Grant Agreement No. ERC-2008-AdG 230195-FutureSoc.

Read more about the conference program here.

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Last edited: 10 December 2012

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