Centre for Economic Demography

Lund University School of Economics and Management

In media

In a recent volume of Ekonomisk Debatt (2018/4), Maria Stanfors at CED presents her study "What do people do all day long? Time-use and equality between Swedish men and women". Main findings are that men and women have almost equally long working days, but hours of total work are unequally distributed as men perform more paid work and women take on more unpaid work. Women still are the primary carers with main responsibility for the household and family. This leads to lower incomes and pension levels among women but there are also possible links between an unequal distribution of unpaid work and the higher degree of stress, sleeping difficulties and sick leave periods that women exhibit compared to men. Although certain improvements regarding household division of labour have taken place in the last decades, these are issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve gender equality in Sweden. Future policy measures should be directed towards increasing women’s labour supply while at the same time changing men’s incentives to do more unpaid work. (This article is available in Swedish only.

The anthology "Den kantstötta välfärden" (The Chipped Welfare State, editor Hans Swärd, Studentlitteratur), published 2017 is discussed in a recent article (2018-02-28) by Susanna Alakoski in DN (in Swedish only). In one of the contributions, by Maria Stanfors at CED, the relationship between equallity and state of welfare is discussed, and in all chapters the focus is placed on the importance and need of studying social welfare issues when discussing how the modern welfare state is doing.

In the latest issue of LUM, CED postdoc Jeffrey Neilson presents his and Maria Stanfors' ongoing research on Swedish parents' time spent at home, looking specifically on how time is distributed between activities such as household work and time spent with daughters and sons respectivey, and how this has changed over time. The full article (in Swedish only) can be found at LUM 2018:1.

A recent study by Kirk Scott and co-authors is featured in The Atlantic. The study, first published in Demographic Research, looks at marriage, divorce, and re-marriage patterns among different immigrant groups and how these compare to rates among native Swedes.

In an interview by Radio Sweden, Martin Dribe talks on the outcomes of mixed unions and how many couples with different cultural backgrounds risk ending up divorcing or splitting up. Interview in English can be found at Radio Sweden's homepage, link available here.

Martin Dribe was recently (Aug 7, 2017) interwieved by SR SISU on how country of origin seems to matter when choosing partners in the Nordic countries. Interview can be found at SR's homepage, link available here (only in Swedish).

Whooping cough has lifelong health impact

People born during whooping cough outbreaks are more likely to die prematurely even if they survive into adulthood, research at Lund University School of Economics and Management has found. Women had a 20% higher risk of an early death, and men a staggering 40%. Women also suffered more complications during and after pregnancy, with an increased risk of miscarriage as well as infant death within the first month of life.

“The results show the importance of following up patients with exposure to whooping cough in childhood, particularly pregnant women”, says Luciana Quaranta, the researcher behind the findings.

The landmark study used a globally unique database, the Scanian Economic Demographic Database, based on data from Sweden's extensive population registers. Quaranta mapped five communities between 1813 and 1968, in an effort to understand how conditions at birth, such as socioeconomic status and exposure to infectious diseases, affect us later in life.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, was widely considered to have been all but eradicated in many developed countries until recently. The UK, the US and Australia have all seen outbreaks of the disease in the past two years.

About the study

Scarred for life. How conditions in early life affect socioeconomic status, reproduction and mortality in Southern Sweden, 1813-1968

The Scanian Economic Demographic Database


Luciana Quaranta, PhD student, Economic History
+ 46 46 222 08 41

Tommy Bengtsson, Professor of Economic History
+ 46 46 222 73 80

Disseration by CED researcher discussed in NY Times

In an article published August 5, results from Luciana Quaranta’s doctoral thesis ” Scarred for life. How conditions in early life affect socioeconomic status, reproduction and mortality in Southern Sweden, 1813-1968” are discussed.

Quaranta, who is member of the Centre and Ph.D. in Economic History since June 2013, has presented historical evidence that shows how being born during whooping cough epidemics had negative effects on health in adult life, a finding that also have bearing for modern medical treatments.

For the full article, please click on:

NY Times article

CED partner in new National Graduate School on Ageing & Health

More knowledge on ageing and health is needed if we wish to have a good society that we can grow old in and this requires the combination of insights in many diverse research areas. In an attempt to enhance this field of research, The Swedish Research Council has recently awarded professor Susanne Iwarsson and colleagues a three-year grant for a national research school. Researchers from a wide spectrum of subjects will join forces and work to improve our understanding in a number of areas concerning ageing and health issues.

For more information, please click here.

Data from the Scanian Economic Demographic Database is now publicly accessible

Data from the Scanian Economic Demographic Database is now publicly accessible. The dataset is a longitudinal economic and demographic dataset containing all individuals living in five parishes in southern Sweden for the period 1813 to 1910. The individuals are followed from birth or in-migration to death or out-migration, and the dataset contains demographic and socio-economic variables on household, family and individual level.

For access, please click SEDD public access

Use of data for the period after 1910 requires special permission in accordance with the restrictions stated by of the Regional Ethical Review Board, the Swedish Data Inspection Board and Lund University.

The European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD) invites applications for school year 2013-2014

The EDSD is an eleven-month program that is offered every year, with the goal to provide students in the first year of their doctoral studies with an appropriate high-level education in demography. Students will acquire a solid knowledge base on causes and consequences of demographic change, population data, statistical and mathematical demography, as well as modeling, simulation and forecasting. The School’s courses are structured in such a way that the students work on precise formulation of a thesis topic and early steps of their dissertations. The language of the School is English.

Please visit the website at for more information on the EDSD curriculum and application.

CED announces doctoral scholarships

Doctoral scholarships, 3-4 years, 100%, are hereby announced. Appointment is conditional on acceptance as a doctoral student within the Centre’s research fields in one of the research areas of the Centre, i.e. economic history, economics, sociology, social work, social medicine and statistics.
Application should include:
 1. CV (including degrees received, relevant courses, possible publications, grades etc.)
 2. Master’s thesis (or equivalent)
 3. Letter of reference (sent directly to:
 4. Research plan (max. 5 pages)

Please note that the Centre can provide scholarships but all applicants must also send in application for acceptance to a doctoral program at one of the above mentioned affiliated departments. The deadline for application to these may vary and it is the applicant's own responsibility to take necessary contacts with the department to which he/she wishes to apply.
The final allocation of scholarships is decided by the director of the Centre for Economic Demography in consultation with its Board and the heads of the affiliated departments of the applicants.

Last date for applications of doctoral scholarships: April 15, 2013
Start date: By agreement
Additional information: Please contact the director of the Centre for Economic Demography, Professor Tommy Bengtsson (

CED 2012 - in hindsight

2012 has been an exciting year with an abundance of new findings and publications from the Centre. The Centre also had its mid-way evaluation made by an international team for the Swedish Research Council (VR), resulting in a top-up of funding.

Members of the Centre have also won prizes in 2012: Jeff Nielsen for his Master thesis on gender and time-use, Stefan Öberg on socioeconomic factors and heights, Sol Juarez and Juan Merlo for a poster on birth-weights, and Barbara Revuelta Eugercios and Sol Juarez for their respective PhD-theses. Members of the Centre have also received external funding for research projects on second generation immigrant educational careers (Kirk Scott), inequality in a historical perspective (Patrick Svensson), comparative historical research (Mats Olsson), gender differences on the labour market (Maria Stanfors), and for the development of the Scanian Economic-Demographic Database (Martin Dribe).

In addition, the CED has granted four new projects: on social care for the elderly (Staffan Blomberg), traumatic events in childhood and later life health (Juan Merlo), income and health effects of free maternal care (Therese Nilsson), and educational homogamy, gender, and increasing income differentials across Europe (Maria Stanfors). In addition, the Centre is starting up collaboration both on immigration and population ageing with various centres in Europe as well as with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

CED researcher presents new study of Somali immigrants on the Swedish labor market

Benny Carlson at CED and the Department of Economic History at Lund University and Sofia Rönnqvist, a former colleague at CED and presently at Malmö University, have together with Karin Magnusson (also at Malmö University), recently presented a study on the difficulties of Somali immigrants to enter the labor market in Sweden when compared to how this has been achieved in the UK, Canada and the US. Besides structural and short-term economic obstacles that have hindered the entrance of Somalis, it is important, according to Carlson and his colleagues, to learn from the locally adapted model of integration that has been applied in these other countries. There, ethnic organizations have taken part in the formation and introduction of new immigrants into the new environment and the local labor markets.

For access to the press conference and the report from the Commission on the Future, please click on the link below.

Presskonferens Framtidskommisionen

Interesting new publication on income differences and health presented at the Book Fare in Gothenburg and at seminar at LUSEM

Associate professor Andreas Bergh at the Department of Economics and a member of the CED, presented a recently published book by him and colleagues Therese Nilsson and Daniel Waldenström. Titled "Does income differences make us sick?", their study is an introduction to the causality between income, inequality and health.

For more information, please see links below (only available in Swedish).

Article in DN 2012-10-12

Article in Svenska Dagbladet 2012-10-10

Book Talk 2012-10-16

Maria Stanfors challenges the economic cut-backs in maternety wards in article in Sydsvenska Dagbladet

In an article in Sydsvenska Dagbladet, CED researcher and associate professor Maria Stanfors argues for a shift away from cut-backs and deterioration of maternity health care, both from a individual perspective but also from a social welfare point of view. By decreasing the resources invested in maternity care not only will the reproductive health of women be endangered but also the long term objective of increased gender equality in society is under threat. The fact that the elderly population in Sweden will continue to grow is further argument for encouraging women to have children instead of, as often is the case, making it difficult for women in labor to even rely on being able to be give birth at their nearest maternity ward.

For full article, please see link below (only available in Swedish).

Article in Sydsvenska Dagbladet 2012-09-13