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Estimation of life expectancy in the Middle Ages

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In the Middle Ages data on landholders were recorded. We use a selection of these data for estimating the life expectancy of adult males from the higher ranks of English society. The data consist of the age at which the landholder inherited land, a sequence of ages at which he was known to be alive and possibly the age at death. We explain that the date of death is left truncated and right censored at an unknown censoring time. We propose a model to fit (a selection of) the data, we give estimators of the unknown parameters in the model and we present estimates of adult life expectancy.

Keywords: Historical data; Left-truncation; Modelling; Right-censoring; Survival analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Leiden, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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