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Childbearing Trends in Iceland 1982-2013: Critical junctures and subsequent fertility developments in a Nordic context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the paper we examine the childbearing trends in Iceland during 1982-2013 by analyzing theprogression to parities one, two and three, as well as changes in the birth spacing patterns over theperiod. Emphasis are placed on the years after the turn of the century. In the first decade of the 21stcentury two potentially influential events took place in Iceland in relation to subsequent fertilityoutcomes; a reform was made to the parental leave scheme between 2001 and 2003 and a deepeconomic crisis came ashore in late 2008. Special attention is given to the trends following thesetwo critical junctures. As well as looking at the parity progressions over time we also investigate theevidence of sex preferences for children among Icelandic parents. In three of the other four Nordiccountries a preference for daughters has been found. As Iceland shares the same egalitarianemphasis within a universal welfare regime it is interesting to investigate if the same applies toIceland. Individual longitudinal register data are used in the calculations; the dataset consists of thetotal female population born in Iceland between 1941 and 1997. The data are of high quality and arestored and processed at Statistics Iceland. The findings are presented in the form of relative risksand are derived from piecewise constant exponential models. In terms of findings, the first birthtrends are characterized by postponement of motherhood at the younger ages and trends ofrecuperation at the older ages. The second and third birth rates indicate that the reform in theparental leave had positive influence on continued childbearing but the elevation in the rates mayalso be associated with the upswing in the business cycle at the same time. The second and thirdbirth rates did not fall at the onset of the economic crisis but three years into the recession. Finally,estimations indicate that Icelandic parents have a preference for having daughters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
Demography, fertility, Iceland, gender equality, sex preferences, childbearing trends, social policy, economic factors
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122305OAI: diva2:865635
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved

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