Research Articles

Kujala P. 2021. Gendered feelings of unsafety and avoidance of local central areas in Finland 2001–2016. Nordic Journal of Criminology, 1–21.

Bottom-line: This study takes on a less-researched perspective and examines the association between feelings of unsafety and avoidance of local central areas in Finland in 2001–2016. It conducts a gendered assessment of the association and distinguishes between different degrees of urbanization. The results show that levels of feelings of unsafety and avoidance in local central areas remain relatively stable during the examined period. Furthermore, the considered association is stronger among women than among men, regardless of the degree of municipality or neighbourhood urbanization.

Wilson B, Drefahl S, Sasson I, Henery P & Uggla C. 2020. Regional trajectories in life expectancy and lifespan variation:Persistent inequality in two Nordic welfare states. Population, Space and Place. 2020;e2378.

Bottom-line: We carry out a comparative study of Finland and Sweden: two welfare states that share many attributes, with one exception being their mortality trajectories. Using individual-level register data, we study regional trends in life expectancy and lifespan variation by sex. Although all regions, in both countries, have experienced substantial improvements in life expectancy and lifespan inequality from 1990–2014, considerable differences between regions have remained unchanged, suggesting the existence of persistent inequality.

Morosow, K. 2019. Side Effects: Unintended Consequences of Family Leave Policies. Stockholm University Demography Unit, Dissertation series 18.

Bottom-line: Job protected family leaves are available across most developed countries to support parents in combining work and family and to enhance gender equality. However, this dissertation shows that family leave policies may have unintended consequences. Family leave can affect family stability temporarily, while lengthy family leaves lead to negative labour market effects for both men and women and can reproduce social inequality.

Bijlsma M & Wilson B. 2019. Modelling the socio-economic determinants of fertility: a mediation analysis using the parametric g-formula. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Bottom-line: Theories predict that the timing of childbearing and number of children born are determined by multiple socio-economic factors. Despite this, many methods cannot investigate the interrelationships between these determinants, including the direct and indirect influence that they have on fertility over the life course. Here we use the parametric g-formula to examine the interdependent influences of time-varying socio-economic processes on fertility. Our results show that socio-economic processes play an important role in determining fertility, not only directly but also indirectly.

Perhoniemi R, Blomgren, J & Laaksonen, M. 2019.  Sources of income following a rejected disability pension application: a sequence analysis study. Disability and Rehabilitation. Epub ahead of print.

Bottom-line: After a rejected disability pension, main income paths include unemployment benefits, re-applied disability pension, and fragmented employment. Labor market and sickness history and age are associated with the probability of these paths.

Perhoniemi R & Blomgren, J & Laaksonen, M. 2019. Determinants of disability pension applications and awarded disability pensions in Finland, 2009 and 2014. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. Epub ahead of print.

Bottom-line: Being an upper-level non-manual employee and having more employment during the preceding four calendar years decreased the odds of applying for disability pension but increased the odds of being awarded one. Older age increased the odds of both applying for and being awarded pension. Compared to applications based on mental disorders, those applying due to neoplasms and diseases of the circulatory system had increased odds of being awarded pension whereas those applying due to musculoskeletal diseases or injuries had decreased odds. Only minor temporal changes were found in the determinants of applying for or being awarded disability pension.

Obucína O, Ilmakunnas I. 2019. Immigrant Child Poverty in an Emerging Country of Destination: the Evidence from Finland. Document de travail, 251.

Bottom-line: The aim of this paper is to analyze the patterns of poverty and housing overcrowding among immigrant children in Finland, with a particular focus on the standard of living in the first years of settlement. We also seek to explore whether and to what degree foreign-born children are disadvantaged relative to native children in terms of income poverty and housing conditions. The relative disadvantage of immigrant children relative to native children is more pronounced in terms of income poverty than in terms of housing. The most frequent outcome in terms of income poverty in the first years of settlement is no experience of poverty, followed by persistent poverty, i.e. poverty in all five years after arrival. The same patterns are found for overcrowding. The multivariate analysis, based on the ordered logistic regression, shows a substantial heterogeneity across immigrant groups defined by country of birth.

Wilson B,  Drefahl S, Sasson I, Henery P & Uggla C. 2019. Regional trajectories in life expectancy and life-span variation. Persistent inequality in two Nordic welfare states. Stockholm Research Reports in Demography 2019:10.

Bottom-line: This study investigates regional trends in life expectancy and life-span variation by sex in Finland and Sweden. Although all regions, in both countries, have experienced substantial improvements in life expectancy and lifespan inequality from 1990-2014, considerable differences between regions have remained unchanged, suggesting the existence of persistent inequality. In particular, Swedish-speaking minority regions in Finland had maintained their mortality advantage over Finnish-speaking regions. Nevertheless, there is some evidence of convergence between the regions of Finland and Sweden.

Comolli C. 2019. Couples’ transition to parenthood in Finland: A tale of two recessions. Stockholm Research Reports in Demography 2019:1.

Bottom-line: The objective of this paper is to test how a typical feature of both recessions at the individual level, labor market uncertainty, is linked to childbearing risk in Finland.

Östergren O, Martikainen P, Tarkiainen L, Elstad J I & Brønnum-Hansen, H. 2019. Contribution of smoking and alcohol consumption to income differences in life expectancy: evidence using Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish register data. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Bottom-line: About 40%–70% of the between-country differences in life expectancy in the Nordic countries can be attributed to smoking and alcohol. Alcohol-related and smoking-related mortality also made substantial contributions to income differences in life expectancy within countries. The magnitude of the contributions were about 30% in Norway, Sweden and among Finnish women to around 50% among Finnish men and in Denmark. Smoking and alcohol consumption make substantial contributions to both between-country differences in mortality among the Nordic countries and within-country differences in mortality by income. The size of these contributions vary by country and sex.

Perhoniemi, R & Blomgren, J & Laaksonen, M. 2018. Mitä hylkäävän työkyvyttömyyseläkepäätöksen jälkeen? Työttömyys-, sairauspäiväraha- ja kuntoutusrahaetuudet sekä uudet eläkepäätökset neljän vuoden seurannassa. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 2018; 83 (2): 117–131.

Yhteenveto: Viime vuosina yhä suurempi osa työkyvyttömyyseläkehakemuksista on hylätty. Hylkääviin eläkepäätöksiin liittyy säästöistä huolimatta myös epäedullisia seurauksia. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan sosiaalietuuksien ja uusien työkyvyttömyyseläkepäätösten yleisyyttä henkilöillä, joiden ensimmäinen työkyvyttömyyseläkehakemus on hylätty. Lisäksi selvitetään, mitkä tekijät ovat yhteydessä pitkään jatkuvien etuuskausien yleisyyteen hylkäystä seuraavien vuosien aikana.

Mussino E, Tervola J & Duvander A-Z. 2018. Decomposing the Determinants of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use: Evidence from migration between Finland and Sweden. Journal of European Social Policy. Online first.

Bottom-line: The use of parental leave by fathers varies notably between countries. However, the underlying reasons for cross-country differences have not been explicitly studied. We use migration between Finland and Sweden as an instrument to decompose the role of policy design and social norms in the differences in take-up rates between these two countries. We find that the large cross-country differences in fathers’ use of parental leave between Finland and Sweden stem mainly from differences in policy design. Norms seem to play a smaller, but still significant, role.

Weber, Rosa. 2018. Short and Long-term Integration: Assessing the Impact of Immigrant Social Contacts. Stockholm Research Reports in Demography 2018:26.

Bottom-line: The results show that immigrants’ social contacts provide meaningful resources in the initial transition period, but loose importance over time in the host country. The findings moreover reveal substantial heterogeneity by reason for migration.

Weber, Rosa & Saarela, Jan. 2018. Self-Selection into Circular Migration – Evidence from linked Finnish and Swedish Register Data. Stockholm Research Reports in Demography 2017:28.

Bottom-line: Our study shows that the probability of moving again increases with every move. Moreover, selection into circular migration resembles that of the first emigration and return. Selection into emigrations differs from returns, even when migrants have moved multiple times.

Kujala P, Kallio J & Niemelä M. 2018. Income Inequality, Poverty, and Fear of Crime in Europe. Cross-Cultural Research: SAGE Journals.

Bottom-line: This article provides important insights into fear of crime in Europe. The results show that income inequality and material deprivation are positively associated with fear of crime. Education and income only appear to be mediators between material deprivation and fear of crime. Trust appears to be a mediator between the country-level indicators and fear of crime.

Uggla C & Billingsley S. 2018. Unemployment, intragenerational social mobility and mortality in Finland: heterogeneity by age and economic context. JECH – Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Bottom-line: This article explores how mortality is related to unemployment and intragenerational social mobility in Finland. The odds of mortality were particularly high for individuals experiencing unemployment and when unemployment occurred during economic growth. Younger men had high odds of mortality following unemployment. Results show that when in an individual’s life and the economic cycle unemployment and social mobility occur matters for whether these experiences are associated with mortality.

Ilmakunnas I & Moisio P. 2018. Social assistance trajectories among young adults in Finland: What are the determinants of welfare dependency? Wiley Online Library.

Bottom-line: According to the results, social assistance receipt is relatively common among young adults but spell duration is usually short. Around 35% receive social assistance at least once between the ages of 19 and 25, and 2.5% receive social assistance each year. Having only a short education is a particularly strong predictor of social assistance dependency. Parental social assistance receipt and moving out of the parental home at a young age are also significant predictors of social assistance receipt.

Juárez S, Mussino E & Hjern A. 2018. Being a refugee or having a refugee status? Birthweight and gestational age outcomes among offspring of immigrant mothers in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.

Bottom-line: Small or no differences were observed in birth outcomes among offspring of women coming from the same origin with different migratory status, compared to their Swedish counterparts. This suggests that information on migration status is not a relevant piece of information to identify immigrant women at higher risk of experiencing adverse reproductive outcomes. The results however might be explained by the large proportion of women coming to Sweden for family reunification who are classified as non-refugee migrants.

Haataja A, Ahlgren-Leinvuo H, Ranto S & Valaste M. 2017. Lastenhoitoratkaisut helsinkiläisissä lapsiperheissä. Kela ja Helsingin kaupunki.

Laihiala T. 2018. Kokemuksia ja käsityksiä leipäjonoista : huono-osaisuus, häpeä ja ansaitsevuus. Itä-Suomen yliopisto.

Karhula A. Life Course Approaches to Intergenerational Inequality 2017. University of Turku.

Vauhkonen T, Kallio, J & Erola J. 2017. Sosiaalisen huono-osaisuuden ylisukupolvisuus Suomessa. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 82 (5), 501–512.

Vauhkonen T, Kallio J, Kauppinen T & Erola, J. 2017. Intergenerational accumulation of social disadvantages across generations in young adulthood. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 48 (1), 42–52.

Mukkila S, Ilmakunnas I, Moisio P &  Saikkonen, P. 2017. Perusturvan riittävyys ja köyhyys 2017.  Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos.

Yhteenveto: Vuoden 2015 tietojen mukaan 11,7 prosenttia eli noin 660 000 suomalaista jäi suhteellisen köyhyysrajan alle. Suhteellisen köyhyyden ennustetaan nousevan 12,5 prosenttiin vuosina 2015–2017. Vuonna 2015 suomalaisista lähes 9 prosentilla eli noin 490 000 henkilöllä tulot eivät riittäneet kohtuulliseen vähimmäiskulutukseen eli heidän tulonsa alittivat minimibudjetin köyhyysrajan.

Jalovaara M & Andersson G. 2017. Disparities in Children’s Family Experiences by Mother’s Socioeconomic Status: The Case of Finland. Stockholm Research Reports in Demography 2017:22.

Bottom-line: Our study examines how children’s experiences of family structures and family dynamics vary by their mother’s educational attainment in Finland. We find huge socioeconomic disparities in children’s experiences of family structures and transitions.

Niemelä M & Karonen E. 2017. Life course perspective on economic shocks and income inequality through age-period-cohort analysis: evidence from Finland. Working Papers on Social and Economic Issues.

Bottom-line: This paper examines the development of income distribution across periodic economic fluctuations in relation to cohorts and age groups. The findings suggest that period and cohort effects can be identified as main effects on relative income. Economic shocks create stagnation points in income development, which are especially detrimental to cohorts who are in the process of transitioning into labour markets. Our research illustrates how middle-income attainment has not changed due to periodic shocks; rather, it is related to intergenerational inequalities and relative income differences.

Tervola J, Duvander A-Z & Mussino E. 2017. Promoting parental leave for immigrant fathers – What role does policy play? Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 24(3), 269-297.

Bottom-line: This study examines whether certain policy features of parental leave are effective in leveling out the gendered differences among immigrants. The results imply that policy features such as the earmarking of days and flexibility are the reason why immigrant fathers’ take-up of leave is higher in Sweden. However, analysis of policy reforms suggests that other contextual factors also play a role.

Juárez S & Hjern A., 2017. The weight of inequalities: Duration of residence and offspring’s birthweight among migrant mothers in Sweden. Social Science & Medicine, 175, pp.81-90.

Bottom-line: Contextual conditions in early life are associated with adult reproductive health. There is a gradient of birthweight by level of human development of the mother’s country of birth. Such disparities are not buffered by their conditions in Sweden. HDI level of one’s country of origin is more informative than the time spent in Sweden.

Comolli C. (2017) The fertility response to the Great Recession in Europe and the United States: Structural economic conditions and perceived economic uncertainty. Demographic Research, vol. 36.

Bottom-line: Fertility response to unemployment in some age- and parity-specific groups has been, in more recent years, larger than estimated by Goldstein et al. (2013). Female unemployment has also been significantly reducing fertility rates. Among uncertainty measures, the drop in consumer confidence is strongly related to fertility decline and in Southern European countries the fertility response to sovereign debt risk is comparable to that of unemployment. Economic policy uncertainty is negatively related to TFR even when controlling for unemployment.

Härkönen J, Bernardi F & Boertien D. (2017) Family Dynamics and Child Outcomes: An Overview of Research and Open Questions. European Journal of Population, online first. doi:10.1007/s10680-017-9424-6

Bottom-line: Previous research has documented that children who do not live with both biological parents fare somewhat worse on a variety of outcomes than those who do. In this article we refine this picture by identifying variation in this conclusion depending on the family transitions and subpopulations studied. This article is introduction to the forthcoming Special Issue on Family dynamics and children’s well-being and life chances in Europe (European Journal of Population, edited by Juho Härkönen and Fabrizio Bernard).

Erman J & Härkönen J. (2017) Parental Separation and School Performance Among Children of Immigrant Mothers in Sweden. European Journal of Population, online first. doi:10.1007/s10680-017-9419-3

Bottom-line: Immigration and family change are two demographic processes that have changed the face of European societies and are associated with inequalities in child outcomes. In this article we asked whether the effect of parental separation on educational achievement varies between immigrant backgrounds (ancestries) in Sweden. We found that the parental separation effects vary across ancestries. In general, the effects were weaker in groups in which parental separation was a more common experience. This article is part of the forthcoming Special Issue on Family dynamics and children’s well-being and life chances in Europe (European Journal of Population, edited by Juho Härkönen and Fabrizio Bernard).

Härkönen J. (2017, forthcoming) Single-mother poverty: How much do educational differences in single motherhood matter? In Nieuwenhuis, R. & Maldonado, L. (eds.) The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families. Bristol: Policy Press. ​

Bottom-line: Single motherhood prevalence has increased markedly among the low educated, while remaining stable at relatively low levels among the highly educated. This article analyzes whether educational differences in single motherhood increase single-mother poverty, and the poverty gap between single-mother and coupled-parent households.

Karhula A Erola J & Kilpi-Jakonen E. (2016): Home Sweet Home? Long-Term Educational Outcomes of Childcare Arrangements in Finland. WPSEI 9/2016.

Bottom-line: We have analysed the association between day care and three different educational outcomes in early adulthood and found positive associations for all three. Half or more of this advantage was explained by the positive selection into day care of children with highly educated parents. In all cases, we conclude that the association is either due to selection or is mediated by lower family income or lower labour market ties of the parents. Because these variables are partly endogenous, it is difficult to separate confounding and mediating effects.

Virtanen K & Niemelä M. (2016) Sosiaalityön syrjästä Kelan keskiöön? Perustoimeentulotuen siirto kunnilta Kelalle Satakunnan kuuden kunnan etuuskäsittelytyön näkökulmasta. Kunnallistieteellinen aikakauskirja 3/2016.

Yhteenveto: Tutkimus selvitti, mitä mieltä Satakunnan alueen etuuskäsittelijät ovat perustoimeentulotuen siirrosta Kelan hoidettavaksi. Tulevaan muutokseen etuuskäsittelijät suhtautuivat varsin kielteisesti: he arvioivat muutoksen heikentävän nykyistä palvelua ja toimeentulotuen käytön lisääntyvän. Toisaalta he uskoivat kansalaisten yhdenvertaisuuden kasvavan muutoksen myötä. Toimeentulotukea saisi nykyistä useampi siihen lain mukaan oikeutettu.

Moisio P, Ilmakunnas I, Mukkila S,  Mäkinen L & Saikkonen P. (2016) Perusturvan riittävyys ja köyhyys. Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (THL). Tutkimuksesta tiiviisti 23/2016. Helsinki.

Yhteenveto: Raportti arvioi perusturvan riittävyyttä ja köyhyyttä Suomessa. Sen tulosten mukaan suomalaisista noin 8 prosentin eli 440 000:n tulot eivät riitä kohtuulliseen vähimmäiskulutukseen, eli heidän tulonsa alittavat minimibudjetin. Noin 12 prosenttia eli 660 000 suomalaista elää puolestaan suhteellisessa köyhyydessä, eli heidän tulonsa alittavat EU:n suhteellisen köyhyysrajan.

Veilahti A. (2016): ‘Financial’ Crises in Europe: Multilevel Analysis of Youth, Employment and the Economy of Wellbeing from 2007 to 2012. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Bottom-line: The economic crisis in Europe is often articulated as a direct consequence of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Yet it was only in Europe that the real economic crisis was sustained in a peculiar, prolonged way. This comparative study of the EU-27 examines the different manifestations of the crisis with an emphasis on employment, marginalisation and inequality.

Sallila S. (2016): Kelan ja kuntien työnjako toimeentulotuen siirrossa Kelaan. Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, Työpaperi 21/2016. Verkkojulkaisu.

Yhteenveto: Perustoimeentulotuki siirtyy kunnilta Kelalle vuoden 2017 alussa. Siirto tarkoittaa työnjakoa Kelan ja kunnan sosiaalityön välillä. Esimerkiksi täydentävä toimeentulotuki jää edelleen kuntiin. Yksi syy täydentävän toimeentulotuen maksamiselle on perustoimeentulotuessa liian alhaiseksi jäänyt asumismenojen korvaustaso. Suunnitelmissa onkin asumismenojen laajempi korvaaminen perustoimeentulotuessa. Laajenemisen sisältö on vielä pohdinnan alla, ja tämä tutkimus pyrkii auttamaan sellaisen tuottamisessa. Tutkimme tätä kohtaa Kela-siirrosta mikrosimuloinnin ja tilastoaineistojen avulla.

Kalliomaa-Puha L, Tuovinen A-K & Kangas O. (2016): The Basic Income Experiment in Finland. Journal of Social Security Law, Volume 23, Issue 2.

Mussino E & Duvander A.-Z. (2016): Migration background and parental leave uptake in Sweden. Online article of N-IUSSP.

Bottom-line: Using register data in Sweden it is possible to investigate the different use of parental leave between immigrant and natives mothers. Eleonora Mussino and Ann-Zofie Duvander find that immigrant women are less able to exploit the flexibility of the parental leave benefit, but experience (i.e. longer stay in Sweden) and labour market participation greatly reduce the gap.

Blomberg H, Kallio J & Kroll C. (2016): Häpeää ja laiskuutta. Asiakkaiden, muiden kansalaisten sekä katutason työntekijäryhmien käsitykset toimeentulotukiasiakkuudesta. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 81, 3: 301–312.

Bottom-line: We investigate how clients, other citizens, social workers and social security officials view social assistance recipients in Finland. Based on the results, the majority of the respondents in all groups associate social assistance with shame and problems of non-take-up, while perceptions of recipients’ moral inferiority are less common. Social workers in particular do not seem to question the morals of recipients. The general public does not differ from social assistance recipients in their perceptions. Furthermore, personal political ideology and education proved to be significant with respect to perceptions of social assistance recipients in all the groups investigated.

Jalovaara M & Fasang A-E. (2015): Are there gender differences in family trajectories by education in Finland? Demographic Research, Volume 33, Article 44, pages 1241-1256. DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2015.33.44.

Bottom-line: We explore how family trajectories vary by educational attainment and gender. We focus on women in Finland born 1969 and 1970 between ages 18 and 39. We find that family-trajectories are highly stratified by education but remarkably gender-neutral. For instance, the proportion of never-partnered and childless at age 39 is largest among those with low education, regardless of gender. Further, age 39, highly educated women and men are most likely to live in the same union in which they became first-time parents. Non-union childbearing is, however, concentrated among women with the lowest education.