In this paper we give a new flavour to what Peter Jagers and his co-authors call `the path to extinction'. In a neutral population of constant size N, assume that each individual at time 0 carries a distinct type, or allele. Consider the joint dynamics of these N alleles, for example the dynamics of their respective frequencies and more plainly the nonincreasing process counting the number of alleles remaining by time t. Call this process the extinction process. We show that in the Moran model, the extinction process is distributed as the process counting (in backward time) the number of common ancestors to the whole population, also known as the block counting process of the N-Kingman coalescent. Stimulated by this result, we investigate whether it extends (i) to an identity between the frequencies of blocks in the Kingman coalescent and the frequencies of alleles in the extinction process, both evaluated at jump times, and (ii) to the general case of Λ-Fleming‒Viot processes.
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