The relationship between lifecourse accumulated income and childbearing of Swedish men and women born 1940-1970
preprintposted on 17.06.2019, 13:02 by Martin Kolk
Abstract: Research on income and fertility has largely focused either on the cross-sectional relationship between income and current number of children or income the year before childbearing. In the current study, a novel and superior measure of income and earnings is introduced to assess whether poorer or richer individuals have more children. Accumulated income histories are calculated and presented for men and women in contemporary Sweden for cohorts born between 1940 and 1970 using administrative register data. The study shows how income is related to completed fertility and parity for two different operationalization of income: disposable income and earnings. There is a strong positive gradient between accumulated income and fertility for men for all cohorts, and a gradual transformation from a negative to a positive gradient for women. In particular, childless men and women have substantially lower accumulated incomes than do men and women with children. For men, fertility increases monotonically with increasing income, while for women much of the positive gradient is the result of low fertility among women with very low accumulated income in later cohorts.