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Published: 2021-11-29

Labour market effects om childbearing and fertility

NEWS In her doctoral thesis "Fertility, childcare and labour market: dynamics in time and space", Elena Kotyrlo, Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE), explores the mechanisms explaining how the labour market is related to childbearing and fertility in Sweden.

Text: Elin Andersson

The thesis explores three major mechanisms that can be strengthened or diminished by family and labour market policies that support and promote gender equalization.

– The first hypothesised mechanism accounts for social interactions. For example, parenting peers can potentially influence the decision to have a child, as they share common interests and can give emotional support during parenthood. Secondly, childbearing decision depends on how individuals evaluate their current income with a desired one, relative to others around them. Thirdly, internal migration and daily commuting can contribute to a successful match in the marriage market followed by childbirth, says Elena Kotyrlo.

– My research also contributes to the study of the long-term and short-term effects of earnings on fertility. Earlier studies have argued that richer families tend to invest in education of their children more than families with relatively low income. On the other hand, the greater is the income the larger family one can afford, and my results suggest that this latter effect dominates.

Elena Kotyrlo studied the effects of internal migration and daily mobility on fertility.

– I argue that mobility makes information exchange more intense, affecting life and family patterns. Labour mobility could accelerate or delay final marital choice and childbearing. It also relates to earnings and its consequences in the desire to have children. I find that an average commuting woman postpones her motherhood. More intensive interactions with single people working and daily commuting can decrease the desire to have children. A longer time, spent for work including commuting, and a shorter time, spent for household’s production such as childbearing and childrearing is another reason.

Together with colleagues Magnus Wikström and Niklas Hanes, Elena Kotyrlo evaluated the effect of Swedish childcare policies enacted in 2001-2002. The policies increased the accessibility of formal childcare for pre-school children.

– We find that native Swedish mothers of children of 2-5 years old increased their earnings and labour force participation (LFP). The results give no evidence that immigrant mothers’ earnings and LFP were affected by the reform package.

Read the thesis: Fertility, childcare and labour market: dynamics in time and space

Contact Elena Kotyrlo: https://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/190260383