Peter Fallesen


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Arbetar vid Institutet för social forskning
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 F
Rum F 939
Postadress Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

I am an associate professor (docent) 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 senior researcher with 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, the efficacy of medical treatment of ADHD on children's long term outcomes, and the temporal and intergenerational transmission of contacts with total institutions.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 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.

  • 2017. Christopher Wildeman, Peter Fallesen. Children and youth services review 72 (SI), 82-90

    Although much research considers the relationship between family income and child maltreatment, contact with child protective services (CPS), and out-of-home placement, little research provides a strong causal test of these different relationships. And, as such, it remains unclear how increasing or decreasing the generosity of social welfare programs could affect children's risk of experiencing maltreatment, CPS contact, and out-of-home placement. In this article, we use Danish registry data and a 2004 policy shock to estimate the effect of a substantial decrease in welfare generosity—a monthly reduction in disposable income of 30% for those who were on a specific form of welfare for six consecutive months or more—on children's risk of out-of-home placement. Our results indicate that this decrease in welfare generosity increased children's risk of out-of-home placement by about 1.5 percentage points in any given year, representing an increase of about 25% in the annual risk of out-of-home placement. The results also indicate that in a similar group of welfare-dependent individuals who were not affected by the policy shock, there is only a negligible increase in the risk of out-of-home placement, further buttressing the case for causal effects. Taken together, this article shows that substantial changes in the economic conditions of the poorest families can have a substantial effect on the probability that their children will be placed in out-of-home care.

  • 2016. Peter Fallesen, Richard Breen. Demography 53 (5), 1377-1398

    Marriage is a risky undertaking that people enter with incomplete information about their partner and their future life circumstances. A large literature has shown how new information gained from unforeseen but long-lasting or permanent changes in life circumstances may trigger a divorce. We extend this literature by considering how information gained from a temporary change in life circumstances-in our case, a couple having a child with infantile colic-may affect divorce behavior. Although persistent life changes are known to induce divorce, we argue that a temporary stressful situation allows couples more quickly to discern the quality of their relationship, in some cases leading them to divorce sooner than they otherwise would have. We formalize this argument in a model of Bayesian updating and test it using data from Denmark. We find that the incidence of infantile colic shortens the time to divorce or disruption among couples who would have split up anyway.

  • 2015. Peter Fallesen, Christopher Wildeman. Journal of health and social behavior 56 (3), 398-414

    Since the early 2000s, foster care caseloads have decreased in many wealthy democracies, yet the causes of these declines remain, for the most part, a mystery. This article uses administrative data on all Danish municipalities (N = 277) and a 10% randomly drawn sample of all Danish children (N = 157,938) in the period from 1998 to 2010 to show that increasing medical treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) accounts for a substantial share of the decrease in foster care caseloads. According to our estimates, the decline in foster care caseloads during this period would have been 45% smaller absent increases in medical treatment of ADHD. These findings are especially provocative in light of recent research showing ambiguous effects of medical treatment of ADHD. Future research should be attentive to how medical treatment aimed at addressing children's acute behavioral problems could also have a powerful effect on foster care caseloads.

Visa alla publikationer av Peter Fallesen vid Stockholms universitet


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Senast uppdaterad: 4 september 2019

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