Peter Fallesen


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Swedish institute for social research
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 F
Room F 939
Postal address Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am an associate professor of sociology in the LNU/level-of-living group. Until December 2016, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the same place. I received my PhD in sociology from the University of Copenhagen in February 2015. I am also a director of research at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copenhagen and a research affiliate at the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin - Madison. I have previously held visiting positions at Yale University and UC Berkeley.



Research Areas
My research fields are family demography, social inequality, child welfare, and criminal justice.

Current Research

I presently study the effect of imposing welfare benefit ceilings on family stability and welfare, how children affect parental outcomes after a divorce, and the efficacy of medical treatment of ADHD on children's long term outcomes, and the temporal and intergenerational transmission of contacts with total institutions.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Peter Fallesen. Journal of Marriage and Family

    Objective: To study how divorce behavior in Denmark changed following a July 2013 reform that removed previous restriction on immediate divorce by repealing mandatory 6‐month separation periods for uncontested divorces, instead allowing for immediate administrative divorce.

    Background: Most countries have mandatory separation periods that couples undergo before they can divorce. Separation allows couples a grace period, during which they may reconcile and stay together. Yet, the impact of separation periods on divorce risk remains understudied.

    Methods: Using monthly time series data on divorce rates from 2007 to 2018 (T = 144), the research brief estimates the size and shape of the policy impact of the July 2013 reform. Using monthly administrative population data on all ever‐married couples (N*T = 11,304,566), the study further calculates the average characteristics of married couples in Denmark who would have remained together absent the reform.

    Results: After an initial spike in the divorce rate driven by couples divorcing earlier, the divorce rate settled at a 10% higher level compared to pre‐reform. Couples who divorced because of the reform had been married for fewer years compared to other divorced couples, were ethnic Danish, and had high school degree as the highest educational level.

    Conclusion: Mandatory separation periods have a dampening effect on divorce rates.

  • 2020. Rasmus Landersø, Peter Fallesen. Health Economics

    Most OECD countries have downsized treatment capacity at psychiatric hospitals substantially. We investigate consequences of these reductions by studying how the decision whether to admit individuals in mental distress to a psychiatric hospital affects their subsequent crime, treatment trajectories, and labor market outcomes. To circumvent nonrandom selection into admission, we use a proxy of occupancy rates prior to a patient's first contact with a psychiatric hospital as an instrument. We find that admissions reduce criminal behavior, likely due to incapacitation, and predominantly for males and those with a criminal record. Furthermore, admission lowers patients' subsequent labor market attachment, likely because a psychiatric hospital admission is an eligibility criterion for welfare benefits.

  • 2020. Peter Fallesen, Benito Campos. BMJ Open 10 (10)

    Objective Concussions are the most frequent traumatic brain injuries. Yet, the socioeconomic impact of concussions remains unclear. Socioeconomic effects of concussions on working-age adults were studied on a population scale.

    Design This population-based, event time study uses administrative data as well as hospital and emergency room records for the population of Denmark.

    Setting We study all Danish patients, aged 20–59 years, who were treated at a public hospital or at an emergency room between 2003 and 2017 after suffering a concussion without other intracranial or extracranial injuries (n=55 424 unique individuals). None of the patients had a prior diagnosis of intracranial or extracranial injuries within the past 10 years leading up to the incident.

    Primary and secondary outcome measures As primary endpoint, we investigate the mean effect of concussion on annual salaried income within a 5-year period after trauma. In an exploratory analysis, we study whether the potential impact of concussion on annual salaried income is driven by patient age, education or economic cycle.

    Results Concussion was associated with an average change in annual salary income of −€1223 (95% CI: −€1540 to −905, p<0.001) corresponding to a salary change of −4.2% (95% CI: −5.2% to −3.1 %). People between 30 and 39 years and those without high school degrees suffered the largest salary decreases. Affected individuals leaving the workforce drove the main part of the decrease. Absolute annual effect sizes were countercyclical to the unemployment rate.

    Conclusions Concussions have a large and long-lasting impact on salary and employment of working-age adults on a nationwide scale.

  • 2020. Gert Thielemans, Peter Fallesen, Dimitri Mortelmans. Journal of Family Issues

    This article studies how the gender division in time spent on housework is associated with relationship dissolution among Danish couples. The use of time diary information on the actual time spent on housework for both partners leads to more precise measures than in previous studies. Two waves of the Danish Time Use Survey provided data on 3,434 couples linked to information from the Danish administrative population registries to observe union dissolution. Late entry hazard models were estimated to analyze how men’s contributions predicted dissolution risk after controlling for couple specific time-constant and time-varying covariates. The results show a U-shaped relationship between division of household labor and union dissolution with lowest risk when men provided 40% of the time on household tasks. Couples with the most unequal division of housework were the least stable. Even in a gender egalitarian society, women still perform more of the housework for relationships to be stable.

  • 2019. Peter Fallesen, Michael Gähler. Acta Sociologica

    Parental time with children is important for children’s developmental outcomes. Family type may affect the amount of time parents can and will invest in children. Using time-use panel data obtained from two waves of the Danish Time Use Survey, linked with administrative records, the study shows that parental family type had a substantial impact on the time parents spent with children. When controlling for constant unobserved individual traits, likely to affect both time-use and family type, differences in time-use increase, indicating positive selection into nonintact family types. Single parents and parents in reconstituted families spent less time on developmental activities, such as talking, reading and playing with the child, whereas parents living in reconstituted families also spent less time on non-developmental activities, such as transporting the child or performing basic childcare. Based on our findings, there are indications that cross-sectional results showing little difference in parents’ involvement in children across family types partly emanate from differential selection in family types.

  • 2018. Peter Fallesen (et al.). Labour Economics

    We estimate the effects of active labor market policies on men’s crime. To do this, we exploit a local policy change in Denmark that targeted unemployed people without unemployment insurance. Our results show that crime rates decreased among treated men relative to both untreated unemployment insured and uninsured men. Lower property crime accounted for the decrease in overall crime. Increased earnings from higher employment rates cannot explain the decrease in crime. Instead, participation in the active labor market program reduced young men’s propensity to commit crime. The results suggest that active labor market programs have substantial secondary effects on criminality.

  • 2017. Peter Fallesen, Lars H. Andersen. Journal of policy analysis and management (Print) 36 (1), 154-177

    Crime and subsequent imprisonment reduces men's chances on the marriage market and increases their divorce risk, but existing research, with a few notable exceptions, is silent about the underlying mechanisms driving these effects. This article studies the effect of home confinement under electronic monitoring as a noncustodial alternative to imprisonment on the risk of relationship dissolution and being single, thereby distinguishing between effects of incarceration and of committing crime. We study a policy that expanded the use of electronic monitoring to address nonrandom selection into electronic monitoring instead of in prison. Results from a sample of 4,522 men show that home confinement under electronic monitoring significantly and persistently lowers the risk both of being single and of becoming single during the first five years following conviction. The results show that one of the tools that could promote decarceration trends also secures better relationship outcomes of convicted men.

Show all publications by Peter Fallesen at Stockholm University


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Last updated: December 4, 2020

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