Occupational Hazard

(Jan 25, 2018)

We previously considered Sir Michael Marmot's landmark Whitehall Studies, which looked at health and mortality outcomes for UK civil servants. Sir Michael continues to research UK mortality, and has recently been drawing attention to the fact that improvements in UK life expectancy appear to be slowing down. Since 2010, life expectancy, previously increasing at around one year for every four, appears to have down-shifted to one year in every six-and-a-half for men, and every ten for women. The big question, of course, is why?

It goes without saying that national populations are never homogeneous. We've seen evidence of this both within US subpopulations and between different areas in the UK. It is therefore…

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Tags: longevity, research, mortality, employment, Scotland, socio-economic group

Concentration of risk

(Aug 21, 2008)

Liabilities within any given portfolio are rarely equal, and they usually differ widely in size. Typically, a large proportion of liabilities is concentrated in a relatively small number of lives, so this should always be checked.

One measure of inequality in income distribution is the Gini Index, which is widely used in the social sciences. It ranges from 0% (perfect equality) to 100% (one person has all the income). The CIA World Fact Book gave the UK as a whole a value of 36.8% in 2005, and the UK is one of the more unequal countries among developed nations. Equivalent figures for portfolios of insurance-company liabilities and pension schemes routinely exceed this value, i.e. such portfolios are even more…

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Tags: concentration risk, Gini, socio-economic group, lifestyle

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