Labour-market status and first-time parenthood: the experience of immigrant women in Sweden, 1981-97
Population Studies, 59:1, 21–38 (2005)
This paper investigates the impact of labour-market attachment on first births of foreign-born women in Sweden. The study uses a longitudinal, register-based dataset consisting of the entire population of immigrants from ten nations and a five-per-cent random sample of natives. The effects of earned income are evident, with increased income levels increasing the probability of becoming a mother for all observed nationalities. The effects of various forms of participation and non-participation in the labour force do not vary greatly between immigrants and the Swedish-born. Among all subgroups, we find a higher propensity to begin childbearing among those who are established in the labour market. Contrary to popular belief, receiving welfare benefits clearly reduces first-birth intensity for immigrants but not for natives. The similarity in patterns across widely different national groups supports the notion that various institutional factors affecting all subgroups are crucial in influencing childbearing behaviour.
Keywords: Sweden, fertility, immigrants, labor force participation