Education, Labor Force Participation
& Changing Fertility Patterns
A Study of Women & Socioeconomic
Change in Twentieth Century Sweden

By Maria Stanfors
June 2003
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 91-22-02000-4
285 pages, 6" x 8 3/4"
$72.50 Paper Original

This book deals with women and socioeconomic change in twentieth century Sweden. The main focus is on how women's education and labor force participation have affected fertility over time. Although many perceive Sweden as a country where men and women have equal opportunities, traditional gender roles continue to constrain male and female activities and opportunities. The gender division of labor within the family, as well as within society as a whole, is central to the conceptual framework for the theoretically oriented analysis. During the twentieth century, women's advances in education overtook the lead position of men, female labor force participation increased, and the gender wage gap narrowed considerably.

Change was, however, concentrated to distinct periods, namely the 1920's, the post-war 1940's, and the 1960's and 70's. The 1990's also emerges as an important period of change. Women changed their behavior much more than men during these periods as opportunities for women to partake in production increased through economic structural change. Moreover, policy reforms facilitated the combination of productive and reproductive activities. This study of the long-term development of education, labor force participation and fertility contributes to our understanding of important facets of the twentieth century and why the road to gender equality has been so slow.

Sociology, Economics
Lund Studies in Economic History No. 22

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