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