Welfare, labor-market status and family dynamics

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 31/12/2011
Funding: 2500000 SEK


Previous research on childbearing and family dynamics in the Nordic countries indicates a high degree of compatibility between individual labor-market activity and family building as women and men both tend to get established in the labor-market before having children, and as they remain there after becoming parents. The pattern of a positive association between women’s labor-market attachment and childbearing is often seen in the light of the existing welfare-state setup of the Nordic countries, and regarded a crucial factor behind the relatively high fertility of this region. In this project, we study the interplay between labor-market status and family dynamics along two new dimensions, which take the heterogeneity of labor-market careers and employment into account: We study the childbearing dynamics of unemployed people from a social-class perspective, and the fertility and family dynamics of employed people by considering the interplay between their branch of occupation and family-demographic behavior. We apply event-history techniques to longitudinal register data on the labor-market status, childbearing and civil status of women and men in Denmark and Sweden. An extension includes a comparison with Germany. We aim at analyzing the degree of compatibility of different labor-market activities with that of childbearing and at detecting mechanisms behind patterns in family-demographic behavior. By considering the branch of occupation, we can ask whether there are occupation-specific patterns of fertility, marriage, and divorce that may reflect different cultures of reproduction and family orientation across labor-market sectors and social groups. We improve upon existing theory on the nature of the work-family nexus in Scandinavia by also incorporating data on the behavior of men into our analyses. The project has high policy relevance as it involves gender-specific analyses of the compatibility of work and family life under different welfare-state setups.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13