Contextual Economic Conditions and Entry into Parenthood: The Event of First Childbearing in Sweden 2000-2007

Christopher Grönberg, Cornell University

In a contemporary Europe symptomized by concurrent trends of economic and demographic transformation it is increasingly important to trace how individuals are navigate their everyday contexts when making major life course decisions. Placed within an emerging tradition of sub-national demographic research, this study focuses on how municipal economic conditions affect entry into parenthood throughout Sweden. Employing event-history analysis using individual and multi-level regression models on Swedish register data for the period 2000 to 2007 the study seek answers to whether growing regional economic disparities are conducive to a fault line between contexts in terms of how individuals enter parenthood. Further it problematizes the measures traditionally used to model contextual economic conditions by introducing a measure of vulnerability as a covariate alongside traditional unemployment rates. The findings reveal that poor economic conditions, in combination with individual characteristics, distinctly affect entry into parenthood and are mostly composed of a timing-effect.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households