Labour-Market Attachment and Entry into Parenthood: The Experience of Immigrant Women in Sweden

Gunnar Andersson, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Kirk A. Scott, Lund University

This paper investigates the impact of labour-market attachment on entry into motherhood for foreign-born women in Sweden. The study uses a longitudinal data set consisting of the entire population of immigrants from ten nations and a five-percent random sample of natives. The effects of earned income are evident, with increased income levels increasing the probability of motherhood for all observed nationalities. The effects of the various states of participation and non-participation in the labour force do not seem to vary greatly between immigrants and natives. Among all subgroups, we find a higher propensity to begin childbearing among those who are established in the labour market. Contrary to popular belief the effects of welfare recipience are more negative for immigrants than for natives. The similarity in patterns across widely different national groups gives support to the notion that institutional factors affecting all subgroups in society are crucial in influencing childbearing behaviour.

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Presented in Session 117: Transition to Motherhood