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Beyond the Economic Gaze: Childbearing During and After Recessions in the Nordic Countries

C. L. Comolli (), G. Neyer, G. Andersson, L. Dommermuth, Peter Fallesen, M. Jalovaara, A. Klængur Jónsson, M. Kolk and T. Lappegård
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C. L. Comolli: University of Lausanne, Quartier UNIL-Mouline
G. Neyer: Stockholm University
G. Andersson: Stockholm University
L. Dommermuth: The Research Department at Statistics Norway (SSB)
M. Jalovaara: University of Turku
A. Klængur Jónsson: Stockholm University
M. Kolk: Stockholm University
T. Lappegård: University of Oslo

European Journal of Population, 2021, vol. 37, issue 2, No 8, 473-520

Abstract: Abstract During the 2010s, fertility rates fell across the Nordic region. The onset of these declines seems linked to the Great Recession of 2008–2009, but their continuation cannot easily be linked to subsequent economic change. The 1990s, too, brought episodes of economic crises to the Nordic region that were followed by different degrees of fertility decline. In this study, we provide an empirical overview of parity-, age- and education-specific fertility developments in the five Nordic countries in the wake of the economic recessions in 2008 and the early 1990s, respectively. We demonstrate a high degree of heterogeneity in fertility developments across countries after 1990, whereas after 2008, the trends are much more similar across the five countries. Likewise, the educational differences in birth hazards that characterized the developments after 1990 were much smaller in the initial years after 2008–2009. This reversal from heterogeneity to homogeneity in the fertility response to recessions calls for an expansion of theories on the cyclicality of fertility in relation to uncertainty and economic and social change. In our discussion, we consider the role of a set of factors that also incorporates the state, crisis management, and perceptions of economic and welfare uncertainty.

Keywords: Fertility; Childbearing; Recession; Economic uncertainty; Welfare uncertainty; Nordic countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (22)

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DOI: 10.1007/s10680-020-09570-0

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