SPaDE presentations at the European Population Conference 2012

SPaDE was represented by 12 of its members and 5 of its affiliates at different sessions.

SPaDE and SUDA were not only involved in the successful organization of the EPC 2012 at Stockholm University. SPaDE’s researchers were also highly visible in presenting SPaDE research output to the conference. SPaDE was represented by 12 of its members and 5 of its affiliates at different sessions. Seven SPaDErs were chair of sessions: In particular, Gerda Neyer chaired a thematic session specifically devoted to SPaDE related research: Social Policy Effects on Family Behavior. Further, Elizabeth Thomson chaired a session on Fertility Decisions within Unions; Gunnar Andersson chaired a session on “Family Formation among Migrants” and a thematic session for The Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM); Ann-Zofie Duvander chaired a session on the Life Course; Livia Oláh chaired the session Family, Work, and Time Use; Sunnee Billingsley chaired a session on Changing Unions and Childbearing; and Eva Bernhardt chaired a session on Same-sex and Living Apart Together Relationships.

SPaDE papers presented at the EPC:

Jobs, Careers, and becoming a Parent under State Socialist and Free Market Conditions: the Case of Estonia”, by Sunnee Billingsley, Luule Sakkeus and Allan Puur.

How do Immigrants use Parental Leave in Sweden?”, by Eleonora Mussino and Ann-Zofie Duvander.

Long-Term Effects of Reforms Promoting Fathers’ Parental Leave use”, by Mats Johansson and Ann-Zofie Duvander.

What’s Biology got to do with it? Parental Leave use among Adoptive and Biological Parents”, by Ann-Zofie Duvander and Ida Viklund.

Gendering Occupation and Fertility: A Comparison between Women’s and Men’s Childbearing behavior by Occupational Branches”, by Gunnar Andersson and Gerda Neyer.

Gender Ideology and Fertility Intentions across Europe”, by Gerda Neyer, Daniele Vignoli and Trude Lappegård.

Gender Equality Perceptions, Division of Household Work and Partnership Break-up in Sweden in early 21st Century”, by Livia Oláh and Michael Gähler.

Love, Marriage, then the Baby Carriage? Marriage Timing and Childbearing in Sweden”, by Elizabeth Thomson and Jennifer Holland.

Family Policies in Russia and Ukraine in Comparative Perspective”, by Katharina Wesolowski and Tommy Ferrarini.

Diverging Destinies in Europe? Education, Family Structure, and Child Well-being”, by Juho Härkönen.

Intergenerational Transfer Systems and Cohort-crowding”, by Thomas Lindh.

First Births in Sweden: Self-perceived and Objective constraints on Childbearing”, by Sara Ström and Eva Bernhardt.

Binational Intra-European Marriages: The Case of Sweden”, by Karen Haandrikman.

Domestic Services and Female Earnings: Panel Microdata Evidence from a Reform”, by Karin Halldén and Anders Stenberg.


New research grants to SPaDE members

SPaDE congratulates Sunnee Billingsley, Ann-Zofie Duvander, Tommy Ferrarini, Karin Halldén, and Kirk Scott for new research grants from FAS.

Sunnee receives 2.85 M SEK for a project on the impact of social mobility on fertility and mortality outcomes in Sweden. Ann-Zofie receives 2.9 M SEK for a project on young forerunners in family life and gender equality in Sweden that also involves Maria Brandén and Sofi Ohlsson-Wijk. Tommy Ferrarini is involved in a project by Kenneth Nelson that receives 4.05 M SEK for research on changing social policies and inequalities in Sweden and Europe. Karin Halldén receives 2.43 M SEK for her research project on the effects of the Swedish RUT reform on labor-market and family-demographic outcomes. Finally, Kirk Scott got 3.61 M SEK for a research project at Lund University on the educational trajectories of second-generation immigrants in Sweden.


SPaDE welcomes Ognjen Obucina as new post-doctoral researcher at the Center


Ognjen has a recent PhD from Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona with part of his PhD project  being based on the well-being and integration of immigrants in Sweden and Europe. Ognjen will now pursue and develop his research agenda which is located at the intersection of migration, family demographic, and social stratification research.


SPaDE welcomes Kirk Scott as new half-time researcher at the Center


Kirk is also Associate Professor at the Center for Economic Demography at Lund University, where he maintains his engagement at his other half time. Kirks research is oriented towards the family-demographic and economic trajectories of immigrants and the children to immigrants in Sweden.


European Population Conference 2012


Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA) was host to the European Population Conference 2012 held at Stockholm University in June and jointly organized by SUDA and EAPS (European Association of Population Studies). The conference was opened by Elizabeth Thomson, Chair of SUDA and François Héran, President of EAPS. Keynote speakers were Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Prof. of Sociology, Spain; Frances Goldscheider, Prof. of Family Science, USA; Peter McDonald, Prof. of Demography, Australia; and Lena Sommestad, Prof. of Economic History, Sweden.
866 participants from 50 different countries attended this three-day conference. In the 109 Sessions and 3 Poster Sessions, some 450 scientific papers and about 300 posters were presented. The topic included fertility, family, longevity, mortality, migration. Special sessions dealt with the key research areas of SUDA, impact of social policies on family and fertility behavior, and demographic insights from Nordic register data.


Post-doctoral position at the Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE)

The Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe announces a post-doctoral position for a researcher in the early stage of his/her academic career.

The position is for a two-year period with start no later than January 1, 2013. Application deadline is April 15, 2012. For more information about the announcement and how to apply, read here.


The Professor Chair in Demography at SUDA is open for new applicants


Professor of Demography, at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University. Reference no. SU 611-0762-12. Deadline for applications: August 31, 2012.

Klick here for more information


10 of SPaDE's members participated at the annual meeting of the PAA

This year 10 of SPaDE's members participated at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA), in San Francisco May 3-5.

Gunnar Andersson was chair at the session Comparative Perspectives on Fertility and Sexual Behavior. Elizabeth Thomson was discussant at the session Fertility Timing: Europe and South America. She also presented a paper together with Trude Lappegård (Statistics Norway); "Intergenerational Transmission of Childbearing across Partnerships". Bo Malmberg was chair for the session Interplay of Demographic Change, Public Policy, and Economic Outcomes in LDCs. Gerda Neyer was chair for the session Fertility Research in a Comparative Perspective. Gerda also presented a paper "Gender Ideology and Fertility Intentions across Europe" together with Trude Lappegård (Statistics Norway) and Daniele Vignoli (University of Florence). Maria Brandén and Eva Bernhardt presented their paper "Shared Attitudes and Couples’ Break-up Plans". Eva also presented a paper co-written with Frances Goldscheider, "Ambivalence about Children in the Family-Building Process in Sweden". Juho Härkönen presented the paper "Family Forerunners? Parental Divorce and Partnership Formation in Comparative Perspective", co-written with Jaap Dronkers (Universiteit Maastricht). Juho also presented his paper "Diverging Destinies in Europe? Education, Family Structure, and Child Wellbeing". Sunnee Billingsley presented the paper "Jobs, Careers, and Becoming a Parent under State Socialist and Free Market Conditions: The Case of Estonia", co-written with Luule Sakkeus (Tallinn University) and Allan Puur (Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre). Sunnee also presented the paper "“Social Capillarity” Revisited: The Relationship between Social Mobility and Fertility in Transitional Poland and Russia", co-written with Anna Matysiak (Warsaw School of Economics). Helen Eriksson presented her paper "Income and Parental Leave over Time – Period and Life-Cycle Effects".


The effects of the Swedish ”home care allowance”

Ann-Zofie Duvander was interviewed about the effects of the Swedish “vårdnadsbidrag” (”home care allowance”) by the ARD Tagesschau, the most important TV-news show of Germany.

For those who do not speak German: The conservatives in Germany want to introduce a home care allowance similar to the one in Sweden. The proposal is highly controversial, and most Germans reject such a benefit.
The ARD news gives an overview over the Swedish situation: The general perspective of the ARD-contribution is also critical of the “Betreuungsgeld”.
Ann-Zofie was the only scientist interviewed. She states that the vårdnadsbidrag in Sweden has unwanted effects: The benefit is mostly drawn by persons who are in a precarious labor-market position, primarily low educated and persons with a foreign background.
Congratulation, Ann-Zofie – it is a very nice contribution!

To view it, click the link below, and then “Betreuungsgeld in Schweden”.

To ARD news (opens in new window)


Children can influence the mother's choice of education

It has long been known to researchers that a woman's education is a factor in how many children she has and when she chooses to have them. Less known is the fact that having children can also influence a woman's choice of education. This is demonstrated in a new dissertation from Stockholm University.

In parallel with the increased educational level of women in the Western world, we can see a trend towards postponing the act of having children, in addition to fewer children being born. This makes the connections between women's educational level and their tendency to have children interesting from a research perspective. Karin Tesching, a PhD student at the Linneaus centre SPaDE (Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe) at Stockholm University, has examined the relations between women's education and their tendency to have children.

'The relations between the choices that women make regarding family and education are complex and largely interdependent. It is also important to point out the need to weigh in factors such as social background and available options when it comes to the life choices that women make', says Karin Tesching.

A picture emerges, in which women's tendencies to have children are influenced by several factors in their education, including the field and period of study, as well as the level of the education. Especially prone to having children are women who are trained for occupations that are either nurturing, dominated by women, or belong to a secure job market. However, women trained for male-dominated occupations have relatively many children as well, which, according to Karin Tesching, shows that Swedish working life in general is characterised by a family-friendly norm.

'Some women choose to return to the educational system after having children. This applies particularly to women who are entering an insecure job market. Instead of living a precarious existence, they choose to continue their education in order to increase their chances of getting a job that can be combined with parenthood. In some cases, this may involve studies in an entirely new field', says Karin Tesching.

An important factor with a major influence on women's life choices is the structure of the welfare system, but also the labour market situation. For example, highly educated women are older than less educated women are when they have their first child, but this does not necessarily mean that they have fewer children than other women. Part of the explanation can be found in the fact that Swedish society is based on the idea that women actually work. The welfare system supports families with children and provides opportunities for lifelong learning, thanks not least to the right to take a leave of absence from work in order to study.

For more information, please contact:

Title of dissertation: Education and Fertility. Dynamic Interrelations between Women’s Educational Level, Educational Field and Fertility in Sweden by Karin Tesching.