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  • 1. Comolli, Chiara Ludovica
    et al.
    Neyer, Gerda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Dommermuth, Lars
    Fallesen, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). ROCKWOOL Foundation, Denmark .
    Jalovaara, Marika
    Jónsson, Ari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Kolk, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Lappegård, Trude
    Beyond the Economic Gaze: Childbearing during and after recessions in the Nordic countries2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates fertility responses to the business cycle in the Nordic countries by comparing period variation in women’s childbearing propensity. We harmonize register data from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to compare childbearing in the aftermath of the two most recent crises that hit those economies: the 1990s and 2010s. We use event-history techniques to present parity-specific fertility, by calendar year, relative to a defined pre-recession year. We further examine any possible impact of the two recessions by women’s age and education. Results show a large heterogeneity across the five Nordic countries in the childbearing developments after 1990. This variation largely disappears after 2008 when period trends in birth hazards become more similar across countries. Likewise, the educational differences that characterized the variation in childbearing relative risk after 1990 considerably diminish in the years after 2010, especially for first and second births. Economic theories do not suffice to explain this reversal from the heterogeneity of the 1990s to the homogeneity of the 2010s in the childbearing response to recession episodes across countries and socioeconomic groups. Our findings suggest the need to expand the theoretical framework explaining the cyclicality of fertility towards the perception of economic and welfare uncertainty.

  • 2.
    Jónsson, Ari Klaengur
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Childbearing trends in Iceland, 1982-2013: Fertility timing, quantum, and gender preferences for children in a Nordic context2017In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 37, p. 147-188, article id 7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND Iceland is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, but one that does not seem to have experienced the same fertility fluctuations as most other countries, following the enhanced role of women in society. OBJECTIVE In this study we examine the childbearing trends in Iceland during 1982-2013 by analysing the progressions to parities one, two, and three. We also investigate whether there is evidence of gender preferences for children among Icelandic parents. METHODS Official individual longitudinal register data is used, covering the total female population born in Iceland between 1941 and 1997. The data is analysed by means of event history analysis. RESULTS We find evidence of tendencies to postpone motherhood during the period, with increases in fertility for women in their 30s and 40s. The propensity to have a second and a third child has not declined; on the contrary, these birth intensities have increased since the mid-1980s. Estimates suggest that Icelandic parents prefer to have daughters. CONCLUSIONS During a period of increased educational attainment and postponed family formation, the resilience of Icelandic fertility is intriguing. CONTRIBUTION The study provides the first comprehensive overview of fertility trends in Iceland.

  • 3.
    Klængur Jónsson, Ari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Family policies, childbearing, and economic crisis: The case of Iceland2018In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 39, p. 561-592, article id 19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In the early 2000s, Iceland implemented one of the most gender-equal parental leave systems in the world, and at the same time increased the volume of public childcare. A few years later, in 2008, Iceland experienced a major economic crises that, among other things, lead to cutbacks in governmental spending and decreased support to families with children.

    Objective: The objective of this study is to provide insight into recent childbearing dynamics in Iceland and how they may be linked to recent social-policy reforms and the intervention of the economic crisis in 2008.

    Methods: We use official individual longitudinal register data covering the total female population born in Iceland between 1953 and 1997. We analyse the data by means of event history techniques.

    Results: We find that changes in the standardized birth rates coincide with the emergence of the reformed family-policy package: A declining trend in the age-standardized first-birth rate came to a halt, and the propensity to have a second and a third child increased. After the onset of the crisis, a trend of decreasing first-birth intensities reemerged and, in 2011, a turnaround to declining second- and third-birth rates.

    Conclusions: The development in the post-2008 period indicates that even in the most gender-equal settings, the gender balance in family care is still vulnerable, and that family policies cannot compensate in full for the impact of economic crisis on fertility.

    Contribution: The study highlights the interdependency of factors related to both social policy and the business cycle in relation to childbearing developments.

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