MPIDR Working Paper

Childbearing dynamics of couples in a universalistic welfare state: the role of labor-market status, country of origin, and gender

Andersson, G., Scott, K.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2007-016, 33 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (April 2007)
Open Access


In this paper, we provide a study of childbearing dynamics by the labor-market status of co-residing one- and two-child parents in Sweden. We apply event-history techniques to longitudinal register data on life histories of foreign-born mothers from ten different countries and the partners to these women as well as a sample of Swedish-born mothers and their partners. Our context is a universalistic welfare state geared towards gender and social equality where formal social rights largely are independent of a person’s civil status, citizenship, and country of origin. We investigate to what extent the associations of parents’ labor-market status with childbearing in Sweden differ between women and men and by country of origin. We find that patterns of association are fairly similar on both these personal dimensions. As measured by the way labor-market activity of parents is related to their subsequent childbearing behavior, we find striking evidence of equality by gender as well as some evidence of integration of immigrants into the dynamics of Swedish society.
Keywords: Sweden, fertility, immigrants
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.