Högre seminiarium: Fertility differentials in Sweden during the first half of the twentieth century - the changing effect of female labor force participation and occupational field
Tid: 10.15 - 12.00
Plats: Beteendevetarhuset, C304
Evenemanget vänder sig till: studenter - allmänheten - anställda
Contrary to the expected negative link between rising female education and fertility it has been shown that in Sweden (Sandström, 2014a) and many other Western countries (Van Bavel, 2014a; Van Bavel et al., 2015) fertility differentials across educational strata decreased sharply during the baby boom. Studies on contemporary data find that the field of education/occupation has a larger net effect than the level of education (Hoem, Neyer, & Andersson, 2006a; e.g. Michelmore & Musick, 2014a; Van Bavel, 2010). Little is however know about the fertility patterns among economically active women prior to the 1960s and how they changed over time. Using individual level data this paper investigates the fertility of women in different sectors of the economy in Sweden during the early expansion of female labor force participation and higher education during the first half of the 20th century. The analysis reaches three main findings. Firstly, there is a marked shift in the effect of female economic activity on fertility in the 1940s and 1950s in Sweden. During this period a strong convergence of fertility behavior across female economic strata occurs and a two child norm is established that has persisted in Sweden since then. Secondly, the negative impact of female economic activity especially for upper strata women is strongly reduced among women that came of age during the 1940s and 1950s. Thirdly, this was especially the case for upper strata women engaged in the so called ‘caring professions’ that exhibit by far the largest changes in behavior. The pattern found in contemporary Western contexts where women in healthcare and education have substantially higher fertility formed already during the 1940s and 1950s in Sweden. The finding of the study illustrates how the mid-twentieth century baby boom works as a ”hinge” between contemporary fertility patterns and those that prevailed during the historical decline up until the 1930s.