Stockholm University
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Type of Occupation and the Transition to Parenthood in Sweden

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posted on 2021-03-26, 20:26 authored by Sofi Ohlsson WijkSofi Ohlsson Wijk
Recent research points to the importance of studying differences in fertility across the labor market. The possibility to combine work and parenthood may, for example, differ across occupations. In the present study, the transition to parenthood is examined for Swedish men and women in 42 different occupational groups covering the entire labor market. Event-history analyses are applied to register data covering 1.3 million individuals in 2002-2007. First-birth risks vary considerably across occupations, also beyond associations related to educational level and earnings. Earnings are positively related to first-birth risks, and seem to be more important for explaining childbearing differences across occupations for men than for women. Factors such as sector, sex composition, and caring and teaching orientation of the occupation are disentangled, which enables an unusually precise depiction of the relationship between work and childbearing. Those in caring or teaching occupations have relatively high first-birth risks, although for men this is only the case when controlling for the relatively low earnings levels in these occupations. Gender differences in fertility are most pronounced in strongly sex-segregated occupations. Differences in possibilities for economic and practical parenting, gendered social interaction, and self-selection are potential explanations for the fertility differentials across occupations.


the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE): grant 2008-0782 for the project Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family Dynamics

the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via the Swedish Initiative for research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM): Register-based Research in Nordic Demography, grant 839-2008-7495




Original title

Type of Occupation and the Transition to Parenthood in Sweden

Original language

  • English

Publication date


Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

  • 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology