A generalized method for reconstruction of war-related mortality

Dmitri A. Jdanov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Dana A. Glei, Georgetown University
Vladimir Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

War can have a substantial impact on mortality rates of a population, particularly among young adult males. Yet, official vital statistics data often exclude military deaths that occur abroad. Estimates based on these data may vastly underestimate the true level of mortality during war periods. Moreover, estimates of civilian mortality may also be biased by failure to account for population movements during wartime. In this paper, we propose a modeling strategy for estimation of mortality during war times when sufficiently detailed demographic data are not available. Our goal is to employ methods enabling to estimate mortality surfaces from minimal input data and ensuring maximal comparability across time and countries. This approach (with some modifications) has been applied for modeling of war-related mortality in several countries within the Human Mortality Database (HMD) project. However, estimations of wartime mortality is a special challenge because the availability, coverage, and completeness of data can vary considerably across countries. This paper is an attempt to further develop a methodology that can be used across various HMD countries affected by wartime mortality.

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Presented in Session 50: Methodological Issues in Mortality