This thesis contains four separate studies that in various ways focus on family and work in Sweden. The studies address different dimensions of how family and work are connected, which is increasingly important as most men and women today participate in both spheres. All studies are studies of couples, which is useful as a large part of the interplay between work and family takes place in couples. An introductory essay discusses the findings.
The transition from cohabitation to marriage. A longitudinal study of the propensity to marry in Sweden in the early 1990s. In Sweden cohabitation is the norm before marriage, and it is in many ways equal to marriage. By investigating the transition from cohabitation to marriage this study seeks to clarify how those who marry differ from those who do not. The study uses the Swedish Family Survey of 1992 together with register data of marriages and births for the following two years. Information on partners' attitudes and marriage plans is obtained from a self-administered questionnaire. The risk of marriage for women who were cohabiting at the time of interview is analyzed with event history analysis. The results show that life course stage, economic gains in marriage, and family socialization predict whether cohabiting women will turn their unions into marriages. In addition, attitudes toward leisure and parenthood influence marriage propensities. Marriage plans explain some, but not all of those effects.
Do country-specific skills lead to improved labor market positions? An analysis of unemployment and labor market returns to education among immigrants in Sweden. The gap in labor market rewards between immigrants and the native-born is sometimes explained with reference to immigrants' lack of country-specific skills. This study investigates whether speaking and understanding Swedish well, having an education obtained in Sweden and living with a Swedish partner improve immigrants' positions in the labor market. The findings show that these characteristics do not substantially reduce the risk of unemployment, and the risk remains clearly above the level of native-born Swedes. However, employed immigrants with a Swedish education and very good language skills are not more likely than Swedes to be educationally over-qualified for their job. In sum, country-specific skills are helpful in the process of reward attainment, but do not go all the way in accounting for the labor market disadvantage of immigrants. The residual may be due to discrimination.
Family division of childcare and the sharing of parental leave among new parents in Sweden. This paper uses register data on days of parental-leave used by mothers and fathers of Swedish children born in 1994, including information on earnings of mothers and fathers, to analyze the determinants of fathers' participation in child care. In 1994 parents were entitled to 15 months of parental leave of which 12 months were compensated at 90 percent of prior earnings. Our major finding is that while both fathers' and mothers' earnings had positive effects on fathers' leave use, smaller at higher earnings, fathers' earnings had a greater impact than mothers'. Fathers used more leave if they or the mother had more schooling and if they were established in the labor market, but used less leave if the mother was established in the labor market.
Marriage choice and earnings. A study of how spouses' relative resources influence their income development. This study investigates how spouses in dual earner couples influence each other's labor market careers. This is done by analyzing the influence of spouses' relative resources on the income development of wives and husbands. Resourcesare measured by kind of education, educational level, age and income. The most consistent finding is that homogamy of kind of education influences both men's and women's income development positively. Furthermore, at low levels of resources, both men and women credit from having a spouse with higher levels of resources. Men with high levels of resources credit from having a spouse with lower levels of resources, and women at high levels of resources credit from having a spouse with the same level of resources.
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2000. , 33 p.