Women’s Career Strategy Choices and Fertility in Finland

  • Elina Schleutker
Keywords: fertility, preference theory, family policy


To better understand the correlation between fertility, female employment, and family
policy, this paper employs Finnish register data on women born in 1969 to study the
association between women’s labour market careers and fertility. The investigation
is based on a theoretical argument which holds that women make different kinds of
strategic choices about their careers as influenced by their own preferences, family
policies, and household resources. Women are divided into three different groups based
on their activity in the labour market from the month they reach age 18 until the month
before they turn 35. The level and timing of fertility, the central characteristics of the
women belonging to the different groups, and the entry into motherhood are examined
with descriptive statistics and event history techniques. Results show that Finnish
women’s choices concerning employment and fertility are relatively heterogeneous: At
one end of the scale a considerable number of women stay outside the labour market
for longer periods of time, enter motherhood at a relatively early age, and have large
families, whereas at the other end we find women with long periods of continuous
education and employment, high age of entry into motherhood, and small family sizes.

Jan 1, 2013
How to Cite
Schleutker, E. (2013). Women’s Career Strategy Choices and Fertility in Finland. Finnish Yearbook of Population Research, 48, 103-126. Retrieved from https://journal.fi/fypr/article/view/40931