Stockholm university

Research project Family policies and Migrant integration:

Understanding parental leave and childhood education and care use and their consequences among migrants in Sweden

Family policies aim to reduce poverty, compensate for the financial costs of children as well as to support the work–family balance among parents. Up to today, there is no systematic overview of how family policies are including and affecting migrant’ fertility and family, working life of young parents, and their family-work reconciliation patterns. This timely project, aims to 1) examine the extent (and heterogeneity) of which immigrants make use of family policies (e.g., parental leave and early childhood education and care) compared to the majority non-migrant population, 2) shed light on the reasons of differential uptake, 3) investigate the (often unintended) consequences on subsequent outcomes, 4) exploit the heterogeneity of the population with migrant background in Sweden. The case of Sweden offers a compelling context in terms of integration policies and how the welfare and gender regime of this country may interact with the childbearing behavior and labor market participation of immigrant women and men.

Project description

A young father kisses his sleeping newborn son. Father and newborn baby closeup. Father and newborn
Photo: Oleksandr Latkun/Mostphotos


This study uses new register data from the government agency administering the parental leave system: Swedish Social Insurance Agency (SSIA), as well as REFU-GEN a collection of Population registers data available in the Sociology Department at Stockholm University that allow us to study the entire Swedish population. In order to exploit the longitudinal nature of our data we will use mainly two approaches: Sequence analysis and Event history analysis. The goal of these approaches is not only to provide better descriptions and explanations of the process determining the life course but also to link different trajectories.

The project will be completed in 3 years and the principal goal of the research team is to produce new high-quality journal submissions and disseminate them also to a non-academic audience.
The forthcoming results of this project will be of importance both for the implementation of family and integration policies. They will also give insights on how different dimensions of integration may be related to each other and shed light on how social policy, and social insurance in particular, will affect the economic and cultural integration of immigrants in society. Additionally, the focus on the possible impact that the family policy may have on the fertility and integration of migrants allows us to study how immigrants adapt to their new society and how different policy provision may influence their behaviors.

Keywords: Parental leave, Gender equality, Migration, Integration, Sweden, Early childhood education and care

Project members

Project managers

Eleonora Mussino

Researcher, Docent

Department of Sociology
Eleonora Mussino. Photo: Leila Zoubir/Stockholm University


Ann-Zofie Duvander

Professor of Demography

Department of Sociology
Ann-Zofie Duvander. Foto: Leila Zoubir/Stockholms universitet

Karin Halldén


Swedish institute for social research
Karin Halldén

Hernan Mondani

Researcher, Docent in Sociology

Department of Sociology
Foto Mondani