I am lecturer in sociology and director for the Level of Living Survey 2020 (LNU2020) at the Swedish Institute for Social research. I study family, work and gender with a special focus on consequences of the division of work between men and women. As director for LNU2020, I coordinate the collection of the seventh round of the survey, which is a nationally representative survey of the adult, Swedish population and their children 10-18 years old.
I am currently involved in research on the division of work and care, such as parental leave and leave to care for sick children ("vab"), in different-sex and same-sex couples and how it relates to opportunities in the labour market.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Who Gives Birth (First) in Female Same‐Sex Couples in Sweden?
2021. Katarina Boye, Marie Evertsson. Journal of Marriage and Family 83, 925-941Article
Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze factors predicting (a) the transition to parenthood for female same‐sex couples in Sweden and (b) which partner is the birth mother for the first and (any) second child.
Background: Longitudinal studies in which couples become parents are rare for same‐sex couples in any context, even though these families are increasing. Childbearing in lesbian couples is an interesting case for testing theories linked to family utility maximization and household bargaining, as these couples can often choose who will carry a child.
Method: Discrete‐time event history and linear probability models are estimated on Swedish population register data (1995–2016) to analyze couples' transitions to first and second birth and the choice of birth mother.
Results: The higher the household income and partners' educational levels, the more likely couples are to become parents. However, within‐couple income gaps are small, and income and education are unrelated to the choice of first‐birth mother. Couples are more likely to have a second child and to switch birth mothers if both are highly educated or the first social mother is highly educated.
Conclusion: Factors predicting which couples become parents are similar in same‐sex and different‐sex couples. In same‐sex couples, short‐term within‐couple specialization is of little relevance for who becomes the birth mother. Analyses of the transition to a second birth suggest that long‐term planning matters for who becomes the first‐ and second‐birth mother.
Care More, Earn Less? The Association between Taking Paid Leave to Care for Sick Children and Wages among Swedish Parents
2019. Katarina Boye. Work, Employment and Society 33 (6), 983-1001Article
Wages are related to parenthood and to child-related absences from work. The link between leave to care for sick children (CSC) and wages is understudied, however. CSC may negatively influence human capital and work capacity, and send the employer signals about work commitment. The short spells of CSC make this form of leave particularly suitable for testing the signalling theory. This study analysed data from Swedish population registers and showed that CSC use was associated with lower wages, particularly among men, up to 13 years after the birth of the first child. The association was strongest at high wage levels. Self-selection of parents with certain unmeasured characteristics into (high) CSC use was one, but not the only, explanation. The results support the idea that child-related time off negatively influences wages through a signalling effect. In addition, human capital or work capacity may suffer with frequent CSC use.
The transition to parenthood and the division of parental leave in different-sex and female same-sex couples in Sweden
2018. Marie Evertsson, Katarina Boye. European Sociological ReviewArticle
Research on the division of paid and unpaid work at the transition to parenthood has rarely been ableto separate the social construction of gender and motherhood/fatherhood identities from labour market and financial factors. By bringing in female same-sex couples (SSC) and comparing how the transition to parenthood influences the division of parental leave in SSC and different-sex couples (DSC),we can isolate parents’ gender as a predictor of the division of care from physiological and identity-forming aspects linked to being a birth-mother (or her partner). Analysing Swedish register data forcouples who had their first child in 2003–2011, results show that (i) the (birth) mother’s leave uptake ishigher than the partner’s uptake for both SSC and DSC, providing support for identity formation andinternalized norms linked to the child’s need of its (birth) mother; (ii) birth-mothers in SSC on averagetake 7 weeks less parental leave than mothers in DSC, indicating that the partner’s gender plays arole; and (iii) the (birth) mother’s parental leave share is negatively related to her income but unrelatedto her partner’s income, suggesting that her labour market prospects are more important in the division of leave than any financial, family-utility maximization.
Fathers on-call? A study on the sharing of care work between parents in Sweden
2018. Marie Evertsson, Katarina Boye, Jeylan Erman. Demographic Research 39, 33-60Article
Swedish fathers’ parental leave uptake has increased over time, but progress has been moderate. In relation to this, we ask what factors hinder or facilitate the taking of leave by fathers and how – if at all – the leave influences the father’s relationship with his child.
To study (i) the reasons for parents’ division of parental leave as well as the consequences this division has for their actual time at home with the child and (ii) the link between the father’s leave and his relationship with the child, as well as the parents’ division of childcare after parental leave.
A multi-methods approach is used, where OLS regression models of survey data from the Young Adult Panel Study are analysed alongside qualitative in-depth interviews with 13 couples who have had a first child.
Quantitative results show that parents’ leave lengths vary with the reasons given for the division of leave and that fathers’ parental leave is related to long-term division of childcare. Qualitative results suggest that equal parenting is important to the interviewed parents; however, motherhood ideals may stand in the way of achieving it. Several mechanisms by which fathers’ parental leave may influence later division of childcare are suggested, including the development of a closer relationship between father and child.
Policies aimed towards increasing fathers’ parental leave uptake have the potential to strengthen the father–child bond, contribute to a more equal division of childcare, and facilitate both parents’ understanding of each other and what being a stay-at-home parent involves.
This article is the first to show how parents alleged reasons for the parental leave links to the actual length of the mother's and father's leave. Results indicate that increasing paternal leave length is linked to improved couple relationship quality and a closer relationship with the child.
Workplace Skill Investments - An Early Career Glass Ceiling? Job Complexity and Wages Among Young Professionals in Sweden
2018. Katarina Boye, Anne Grönlund. Work, Employment and Society 32 (2), 368-386Article
Despite higher educational investments, women fall behind men on most indicators of labour market success. This study investigates whether workplace skill investments set men and women off on different tracks in which the human capital acquired through higher education is either devalued or further developed. A survey sample of Swedish men and women who recently graduated from five educational programmes, leading to occupations with different gender composition, is analysed (N approximate to 2300). Results show that, a few years after graduation, men are more likely than women to acquire complex jobs and that this difference contributes to early career gender gaps in wages and employee bargaining power. The findings do not support the notion that child-related work interruptions provide a main mechanism for sorting women into less complex jobs.