Charlotta Magnusson

Charlotta Magnusson


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Works at Swedish institute for social research
Telephone 08-16 26 07
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 F
Room F 981
Postal address Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Charlotta Magnusson is an associate professor of sociology at SOFI. She received her PhD in Sociology at Stockholm University in 2010. She is a Senior lecturer at AKPA.

Her main research interests are gender stratification in the labour market, in particular gender differences in occupational prestige,
working conditions and wages.

She is currently involved in three major research projects: 

Sickness absence among men and women – why does it differ? Work, health, and illness among women and men during five decades”, FORTE, dnr: 2017-01242

Parenthood penalties and premiums on labor market outcomes: Who is affected and why?”, FORTE, dnr: 2016-00661

Losers and winners in the labor market - Longitudinal studies of how childhood conditions and intergenerational transfers are related to young adults' conditions and choices in the labor market”. FORTE, dnr: 2013-1119

Google Scholar Profile


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Anne Grönlund, Charlotta Magnusson. Gender Issues 35 (2), 153-178

    The article provides a close-up picture of gender and personality in relation to the gender composition of occupation and the gender wage gap. Using a survey of newly graduated highly educated men and women in five occupations in Sweden (engineers, lawyers, police officers, social workers and psychologists, n ≈ 2400), we examine (a) if personality traits—measured as Big Five traits, risk-taking and self-esteem—differ between men and women (b) if differences in personality traits are systematically related to the gender composition of the occupation, (c) if individuals who have chosen an occupation dominated by the other gender are gender-atypical in their personalities and, (d) how personality traits are related to wages and the gender wage gap. The results show significant gender differences in agreeableness, emotional stability and perceived risk-taking. The male-dominated occupations score higher on risk-taking than those dominated by females, but the pattern for agreeableness is less clear and the scores on emotional stability are no higher in these occupations. Further we find that individuals who have chosen a gender-atypical occupation tend to display gender atypical personality traits. In line with previous research, we find that risk-taking and self-esteem are positively related to wages but these associations do not account for gender differences in wages. The valuation of personality traits does not vary systematically with the gender composition of the occupations but being agreeable has a more negative wage effect for women than for men.

  • 2018. Charlotta Magnusson, Magnus Nermo. Journal of Youth Studies 21 (10), 1392-1410

    This study investigates the impact of self-esteem during childhood on men’s and women’s occupational prestige in young adulthood. By combining first-hand information from parents in the Swedish Level-of-Living surveys (LNU) 2000 and their children in the Child-LNU in 2000 and the follow-up study in LNU-2010, we are able to assess how self-esteem during adolescence is related to occupational prestige in adulthood. Multivariate analyses were used to determine whether associations between self-esteem (global and domain-specific) in childhood (aged 10–18 years) and occupational prestige in young adulthood (aged 20–28) exist and, if so, what the magnitudes of these associations are for each respective gender.

    For women, there is a positive association between confidence in mathematics and prestige, even when accounting for actual math grades. Global self-esteem is positively related to later occupational prestige as well. For men, self-esteem is unrelated to occupational prestige. Only actual performance in mathematics is important for men’s occupational achievements.

    These results indicate the importance of taking gender differences into account when investigating how self-esteem is related to outcomes in young adulthood. A possible implication is the importance of focusing on the development of self-esteem among children, particularly girls, in school.

  • 2017. Anne Grönlund, Karin Halldén, Charlotta Magnusson. Acta Sociologica 60 (2), 97-119

    In current research, the extensive family policies of the Scandinavian countries have been problematized and described as hampering women's careers. However, mechanisms have been little investigated and the Scandinavian countries are often regarded as a single policy model. Based on an account of institutional variety we study gender gaps in hourly wages and access to authority positions in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and explore the importance of segregation, skills and work interruptions. The analysis uses pooled cross-sectional data from the European Social Survey (ESS) for 2004 and 2010. The results show that gender gaps vary both in size and regarding the mechanisms producing them. In particular, we find that gender segregation has a radically different impact in the four countries. The analysis suggests that the mechanisms linking family policies to labour market outcomes are more complex than envisaged in the current debate and point to the importance of comparing seemingly similar countries.

  • 2017. Sara Brolin Låftman, Charlotta Magnusson. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 45 (8), 878-885

    Background: Self-reported psychological and psychosomatic health complaints, such as nervousness, sadness, headache and stomach-ache, are common among adolescents, particularly among girls, and studies suggest that the prevalence has risen among adolescent girls during the last few decades. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the potential long-term consequences of such health complaints. The aim of the current study was to assess whether psychological and psychosomatic health complaints in adolescence predict the chance of entering tertiary education in young adulthood among women and men. Methods: The data used are from the Swedish Young-LNU, which is based on a nationally representative sample with self-reported survey information from adolescents aged 10–18 years in 2000 and from the same individuals at ages 20–28 in 2010 (n=783). Information was also collected from parents and from official registers. Results: Linear probability models showed that self-reported psychological complaints in adolescence were associated with a lower chance of having entered tertiary education 10 years later. This association was accounted for by differences in grade point average (GPA), suggesting that GPA may mediate the association between psychological complaints and later education. The pattern was similar for both genders. Furthermore, among men, psychosomatic complaints in adolescence were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of having entered tertiary education 10 years later when adjusting for GPA and social class in adolescence. A similar but non-significant tendency was found among women. Conclusions: The findings suggest that health complaints in adolescence may have long-term consequences in terms of lower educational attainment.

  • 2017. Charlotta Magnusson, Magnus Nermo. Social Indicators Research 131 (2), 797-816

    Using data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (2000, 2010), we investigate how the gender wage gap varies with occupational prestige and family status and also examine the extent to which this gap is explained by time-consuming working conditions. In addition, we investigate whether there is an association between parenthood, job characteristics and wage (as differentiated by gender). The analyses indicate that there are gender differences regarding prestige-based pay-offs among parents that are partly explained by fathers' greater access to employment characterized by time-consuming conditions. Separate analyses for men and women demonstrate the presence of a marriage wage premium for both genders, although only men have a parenthood wage premium. This fatherhood premium is however only present in high-prestigious occupations. Compared with childless men, fathers are also more advantaged in terms of access to jobs with time-consuming working conditions, but the wage gap between fathers and childless men is not explained by differences in access to such working conditions.

  • 2017. Katarina Boye, Karin Halldén, Charlotta Magnusson. British Journal of Sociology 68 (4), 595-619

    The wage differential between women and men persists in advanced economies despite the inflow of women into qualified occupations in recent years. Using five waves of the Swedish Level-of-Living Survey (LNU), this paper explores the gender wage gap in Sweden during the 1974–2010 period overall and by skill level. The empirical analyses showed that the general gender wage gap has been nearly unchanged for the past 30 years. However, the gender difference in wage in less qualified occupations fell considerably, whereas the gender pay gap remained stable for men and women in qualified occupations. The larger significance of family responsibilities for wages in qualified occupations is one likely explanation for this result.

  • 2019. Charlotta Magnusson, Sara Brolin Loftman. Children and youth services review 101, 174-180

    Many studies have reported a negative association between mental health problems and school performance and some studies have shown long-term negative consequences of such health problems, especially in relation to education. However, less is known about the link between different types of self-reported mental health problems in adolescence and occupational prestige in young adulthood.

    Using prospective survey data collected among 10–18-year-olds who were followed up after ten years (n = 605), the present study investigated, firstly, whether different types of self-reported mental health problems in adolescence – i.e., psychological and psychosomatic complaints, aggression and concentration difficulties – were associated with occupational prestige in young adulthood even after adjusting for childhood socioeconomic conditions; secondly, whether any such associations were partly or fully accounted for by differences in school performance; and thirdly, whether any associations between self-related mental health problems and occupational prestige varied by gender.

    Linear (OLS) regression analyses showed that self-reported concentration difficulties in adolescence were negatively associated with occupational prestige ten years later among both men and women. Aggression in adolescence was also negatively associated with later occupational prestige, but this association was accounted for by concentration difficulties. Psychological and psychosomatic complaints in adolescence were not however associated with occupational prestige in young adulthood. For both men and women, the association between concentration difficulties and occupational prestige was fully accounted for by differences in school grades.

    The findings indicate that self-reported concentration difficulties in adolescence have implications for individuals' occupational prestige in young adulthood among men and women alike. The association could be understood to be mediated by differences in school performance. Thus, to offer adolescents more equal chances of reaching high positions in the labor market, irrespective of their mental health status, it is important to provide adequate support during schooling.

  • 2019. Charlotta Magnusson, Magnus Nermo. Gender, Age and Inequality in the Professions
  • 2019. Charlotta Magnusson. Community, Work and Family

    The relationship between gender, working conditions, occupational gender composition and wages is investigated to test the support for the mother-friendly job hypothesis in the family-friendly welfare state of Sweden. The Swedish level-of-living survey (LNU2010) is used to measure two dimensions of working conditions: flexibility and time-consuming work. The findings do not support the notion that women's work is more family-friendly as neither women in general nor mothers have more flexibility than men. Furthermore, female dominated occupations have, in comparison with other occupations, less flexible work arrangements. Instead, gender-integrated occupations have the most flexible work arrangement. Time-consuming work is also most common in gender integrated occupations. Flexibility and time consuming work largely go hand in hand and are both positively associated with wages and also more common in the service class. Finally, women are not economically compensated for their job characteristics in the same extent as men, especially not for their time-consuming work which partially account for the gender wage gap. Taken together the findings counters the notion that the remaining gender wage gap largely is due to women avoiding time consuming work or choosing flexibility. Instead it seems like women are compensated less regardless of their job characteristics.

  • 2016. Charlotta Magnusson. Work, Employment and Society 30 (1), 40-58

    The gender wage gap within a highly prestigious occupation, the medical profession, is investigated both longitudinally and cross-sectionally using Swedish administrative data. This is done by investigating: to what extent the gender wage gap among physicians varies between fields of medicine (within-occupation segregation) and across family status; whether there is an association between parenthood and wages among physicians and, if so, whether there is a gender difference in this association; and changes in the gender wage gap among physicians over time. The results indicate a large overall gender wage difference for medical doctors. Even when gender differences in specialization are taken into account, men have higher wages than women do. For both men and women physicians, there is a positive association between parenthood and wages. The longitudinal analyses show that the gender wage gap among physicians was greater in 2007 than in 1975.

  • 2016. Anne Grönlund, Charlotta Magnusson. European Societies 18 (1), 91-113

    Recent research has suggested that there is a trade-off between the ‘family-friendliness’ of jobs, occupations and welfare states on the one hand and women's relative wages on the other. In particular, the extensive family policies found in Scandinavia are thought to harm highly educated women by affecting occupational segregation and workplace skill development. In this article, we use pooled wage data from the European Social Survey of 2004 and 2010 to examine the mechanisms behind the gender wage gap in Germany, Sweden and the UK and compare the situation of high- and low-skilled employees. Our findings show that the gender wage gap among high-skilled employees in Sweden is larger than in the UK, but not larger than in Germany. Also, segregation and work-related training are no more important in Sweden than in the other countries. Another important finding is that the mechanisms behind the gender wage gap differ between high- and low-skilled employees in ways not predicted by the trade-off argument. In particular, the large unexplained wage gap among high-skilled employees provides new theoretical challenges.

Show all publications by Charlotta Magnusson at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 16, 2020

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