Fertility of Power Couples in Sweden

Martin Dribe, Lund University
Maria A. Stanfors, Lund University

This paper explores the fertility of power couples, i.e. couples in which both are academic graduates and/or have high-powered careers. We focus on how high-achieving women and men behave in relation to other couples when it comes to family formation and how the relationship between education, occupation, career and fertility has changed over time in post-war Sweden. The determinants of entry into parenthood as well as of higher-order births are analyzed by applying hazard regressions to data made up by annual aggregate time series as well as longitudinal micro-data from register data provided by Statistics Sweden. Education, labour market attachment and occupational orientation are key factors determining the fertility of high-achieving women and men, although the effects are gendered. The importance of educational and occupational orientation may reflect different degrees of work-family conflicts that exist in different fields and the relative power balance within the couple.

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Presented in Session 127: Fertility at the Extremes