Péter Vékás is an associate professor at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary.


Empirical studies show that rates of mortality decline vary greatly by age, gender,
country and calendar year. In particular, the acceleration of mortality decreases among
the elderly and a simultaneous slowdown of improvement at younger ages – jointly
referred to as the rotation of the age pattern of mortality decline – have been observed
in several populations.

In an earlier paper, the author suggested a simple data-driven methodology for the
empirical examination of this phenomenon. Since the world was hit by COVID-19, the
picture has changed significantly, as the elderly have been more susceptible to die due
to complications of the disease, which tends to moderate the impact of rotation.

In his talk, the author presents new results based on mortality data from the Human
Mortality Database for several countries of the world, and demonstrates that previous
long-term trends of rotation have been radically changed – and in many cases,
completely wiped out – by the pandemic. He concludes by explaining potential practical
implications for mortality and population forecasting as well as for pension systems.