Speaker: Yahia Salhi
This article proposes a parsimonious alternative approach for modeling the stochastic dynamics of mortality rates. Instead of the commonly used factor-based decomposition framework, we consider modeling mortality improvements using a random field specification with a given causal structure. Such a class of models introduces dependencies among adjacent cohorts aiming at capturing, among others, the cohort effects and cross generations correlations. It also describes the conditional heteroskedasticity of mortality. The proposed model is a generalization of the now widely used AR-ARCH models for random processes. For such a class of models, we propose an estimation procedure for the parameters. Formally, we use the quasi-maximum likelihood estimator (QMLE) and show its statistical consistency and the asymptotic normality of the estimated parameters. The framework being general, we investigate the optimal model choice and parameter selection among potential and candidate models. More formally, we propose a methodology well-suited to such a random field able to select the best model in the sense that the model is not only correct but also most economical among all the correct models. Among others, we show that a criterion based on a penalization of the log-likelihood, e.g. using the Bayesian Information Criterion, is consistent.