Stockholm University
SRRD2021_26.pdf (2.12 MB)

Economic Effects of Partner Loss: Examining vulnerability at the intersection of gender and nativity

Download (2.12 MB)
posted on 2021-09-28, 07:36 authored by Elena Pupaza, Selina Hofstetter, Ben WilsonBen Wilson
The death of a partner has many consequences, including for the economic lives of those they leave behind. Theories predict that these consequences will not only differ by sex (for women and men in opposite-sex couples, especially those with children) but also by nativity (for immigrants as compared with the native-born), as well as for the intersection between sex and nativity. Here, we test these predictions by estimating the effect of partner death on income and employment. We use register data for the whole population of Sweden and focus on quasirandom partner deaths among opposite-sex couples with children. Our results show that partner death has a negative effect on both income and employment, but more so for men than women. The findings indicate that male immigrants are more negatively affected by partner death than native-born men, especially when the partner who dies is another immigrant. The only subgroup who experience a positive impact are female immigrants who experience the death of an immigrant partner. We discuss these findings, which suggest that work retains a prominent place in the life course of immigrant women after the sudden death of a partner, perhaps due to a lack of support and the necessity of meeting economic constraints.


the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Grant agreement No. 948727 (REFU-GEN)

the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via project 2017- 01021

the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ) grant registration number M18-0214:1

the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare (FORTE) grant numbers: 2016-07105 and 2019-00603




Original title

Economic Effects of Partner Loss: Examining vulnerability at the intersection of gender and nativity

Original language

  • English

Publication date


Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

  • 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology