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Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies Arbetsrapport, Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies

No 2009:6:
Childbearing of students. The case of Sweden

Sara Thalberg ()

Abstract:

This paper examines childbearing behaviour among Swedish students, and mothers’ enrolment in education in the period 1984 to 1999. By means of longitu¬dinal data on individual childbearing and study activity we detect whether the relative propensity of female students to have a child was affected by macro level changes, such as the student financial aid reform in 1989 and the economic recession in the early 1990s. It also investigates whether the dramatic increase in number of students have changed students’ childbearing patterns. Finally, couples’ higher order birth risks are explored, as well as the influence of the parents’ student status and income on their propensity to have another child.

The results show that the reform in 1989 had no noticeable impact on students’ childbearing behaviour or on mothers’ propensity to enrol in education. The recession seems to have had the same negative effect on students’ childbearing risks as it did on the population in general. Despite the dramatic rise in enrolment the negative effect of being a student on childbearing behaviour is stable over time. Another conclusion is that birth risks among female students differ by age and income; the negative effect of being a student on birth risks is much stronger among younger age groups. Among younger students, the propensity to have a child also seems to be slightly more dependent on level of income. Couple data showed that couples where the mother is a student show a lower propensity to have another child, while – more surprising– couples, where the father is a student, have a much higher propensity to have a second or a third child than other couples.

Keywords: childbearing behaviour; Swedish students; female students; birth risks; parents' student status; financial aid reform; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: I12; I22; J12; J13; (follow links to similar papers)

38 pages, May 13, 2009

ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN: 978-91-85619-45-0

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