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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

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Norberg-Schönfeldt, Magdalena, 2007. "The Phase-Out of the Nuclear Family? Empirical Studies on the Economics and Structure of Modern Swedish Families," Umeå Economic Studies 708, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0708
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The causes and consequences of longterm unemployment in Europe," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 3085-3139 Elsevier.
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    3. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 215-229, October.
    4. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    5. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
    6. 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.
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    9. 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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    12. Norberg-Schönfeldt , Magdalena, 2007. "Match Quality, Financial Surprises and the Dissolution of Commitments among Young Adults in Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 706, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
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    14. Lena Edlund, 2005. "Sex and the City," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 25-44, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time allocation; labour-force participation; educational achievements; match quality; financial surprises; unemployment; divorce; family structure;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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