Essays in Labor Economics, Parenthood, Immigration, and Education

Författare: Anton Sundberg, Och

Sammanfattning av Dissertation series 2024:2


Sundberg, A. 2024. Essays in Labor Economics. Parenthood, Immigration, and Education. Economic studies 214. 209 pp. Uppsala: Department of Economics. ISBN 978-91-506-3040-4.

Essay I: This paper examines the impact of parenthood on labor market outcomes for both men and women using population-wide annual income data from 1960 to 2021 in Sweden. First, I document the contemporary child penalties across several labor market outcomes. Second, I show that while the motherhood penalty in earnings declined significantly during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, the rate of decline slowed from the late 1980s onwards. Third, I identify a fatherhood penalty emerging since the 1980s, particularly pronounced among men in more gender-egalitarian households (proxied by the father's share of parental leave) and among fathers who have sons relative to daughters.

Essay II: (with Olof Åslund and Arizo Karimi): We explore the effect of gender equality norms and shared institutional and economic contexts on the size of the motherhood penalty, studying child migrants and children of immigrants in Sweden. While there are results pointing to a moderate but statistically robust negative association between source country gender equality and the labor market impact of motherhood, the overall picture is more one of similarity across highly diverse groups. All groups of mothers exhibit qualitatively comparable labor market trajectories following first childbirth, but penalties are somewhat greater among those descending from the most gender-unequal societies.

Essay III: (with Demid Getik and Anna Sjögren): We examine how exposure to recent migrants and asylum seekers affects the academic performance of incumbent students in Sweden between 2008 and 2022, a period characterized by large migration inflows. To identify the effect, we exploit variation in contemporaneous and cumulative exposure to recent migrants between siblings and across cohorts within schools. We find a small but statistically significant positive impact on native students' test scores from cumulative exposure to recent migrants. However, students with immigrant backgrounds do not experience similar benefits. A closer look at the more acute 2015 refugee crisis corroborates our main findings.

Essay IV: (with Mounir Karadja): We study the economic effects of gaining access to the taxi labor market. Comparing individuals who pass the required written exams for a taxi license with those who have not yet done so, we find that immigrants increase their monthly earnings by nearly 50 percent between 1 and 3 years later and reduce their reliance on social insurance programs. Natives experience smaller gains of about 10 percent. Recently arrived immigrants reap the largest gains, suggesting that their outside options are limited, leading to a larger impact of taxi driving on their earnings.

Keywords: Parenthood, child penalties, gender earnings gap, immigrant integration, native-immigrant earnings gap, refugees, education, peers