Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Divergence without decoupling: Male and female life expectancy usually co-move


Background: Divergence of male and female life expectancy is a well-documented phenomenon. Comovement is a heretofore-neglected aspect of changes in male and female mortality. Objective: We develop a new framework for life expectancy sex differentials in time series, using co-movement/anti-movement and convergence/divergence. METHODS We apply this framework to the Human Mortality Database (HMD), assessing co-movement between male and female life expectancy with the nonparametric test of Goodman and Grunfeld (1961). Results: For every country in the HMD (except three with short spans of data), male and female mortality statistically co-move. This applies even in cases, including ones such as Russia that are well-discussed in the literature, that show extreme divergence between the sexes. The results are reasonably robust to subsetting with a 25-year time-window for all countries. Conclusions: Male and female life expectancy co-move even when the life expectancy sex differential increases. The sex divergence in life expectancy needs to be (re-)considered in light of the fact that male and female life expectancy usually co-move, reflecting overall societal factors.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View