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Notes

Discussion Paper no. 98-2

Abstract

The paper gives a critical review of South African life tables published since the 1920s. The life tables were constructed on the assumption that vital registration was complete among whites, coloureds and Asians. Over time, robust measures of the life tables such as under-five mortality rate and life expectancy at birth have to show internal and external consistency. In addition, derived measures such as entropy, E, which summarises the degree of convexity of the life table survivorship function, l(x), and Anson’s U also have to display such consistency. Against these criteria, the paper sets out to assess the validity of South African life tables published since the 1920s.


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