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The Phase-Out of the Nuclear Family? Empirical Studies on the Economics and Structure of Modern Swedish Families

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  • Norberg-Schönfeldt, Magdalena

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    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

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    Abstract

    This thesis consists of three papers on the economics and structure of Swedish families. Paper [I] examines the determinants of children’s educational achievement in Sweden. Special attention is given to the labour market work by mothers and fathers in terms of its influence on the educational outcome of their children, measured as grade point average (GPA) in compulsory as well as upper sec-ondary school. The results show that there is a positive relationship between parental income and GPA. Regarding the number of hours worked in the la-bour market, the results differ between mothers and fathers. Having a mother that works less than full time has positive effects on the child’s grades throughout the schooling of the child, whereas significant effects of the hours of work that the father puts in are found during upper secondary school only. Paper [II] explores the role of financial surprises and match quality in the dis-solution of relationships. The analysis is carried out both for surprises in the short term earnings and surprises in the long-run earnings capacity. It is found that positive surprises in short term earnings have a destabilizing effect for a relationship. Generally, a negative surprise in long-run earnings capacity for males has a destabilizing effect. However, if it is combined with a female positive surprise, the effect is stabilizing. Commitments become more stable the older the spouses are at the start, and if young children are present. Paper [III] studies the role of unemployment in the dissolu¬tion of relationships by applying a two-step estimation method to an extensive data set, which con-tains information about young Swedish males and females. Unemployment is recognized as endogenous in the separation decision, and the results show that the effect of unemploy¬ment on separation is biased when unemployment is assumed to be exo¬genous in the separation equation. The probability of sepa-ration is found to be increasing with male unemployment, while female un-employment decreases the probability of dissolution.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 708.

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    Length: 126 pages
    Date of creation: 16 May 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0708

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    Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
    Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
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    Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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    Keywords: Time allocation; labour-force participation; educational achievements; match quality; financial surprises; unemployment; divorce; family structure;

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    1. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    2. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    3. Starkey, James L., 1996. "Race differences in the effect of unemployment on marital instability: A socioeconomic analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 683-720.
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    5. Norberg-Schönfeldt , Magdalena, 2007. "Match Quality, Financial Surprises and the Dissolution of Commitments among Young Adults in Sweden," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 706, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    6. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1998. "The causes and consequences of long-term unemployment in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
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    10. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    11. Lena Edlund, 2005. "Sex and the City," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 25-44, 03.
    12. Michael Svarer, 2004. "Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    13. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 215-29, October.
    14. Weiss, Y. & Willis, R.J., 1995. "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," Papers 33-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    15. Boheim, Rene & Ermisch, John, 2001. " Partnership Dissolution in the UK--The Role of Economic Circumstances," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 197-208, May.
    16. Kraft, Kornelius, 2001. "Unemployment and the Separation of Married Couples," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 67-87.
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