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Rural boys, urban girls?: The mystery of the diminishing urban-rural gender gap in Sweden
Malmö University, Institute for Urban Research (IUR). Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Urban Studies (US).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3133-6469
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Society, Culture and Identity (SKI). Malmö University, Institute for Urban Research (IUR).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0018-8720
2021 (English)In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 86, p. 282-297Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, there have been a surplus of men in rural areas and a surplus of women in urban areas for decades. However, the relative difference between rural and urban areas have decreased for about 70 years between the 1930s and the new millennium. We use two approaches to understand the decreasing regional gender gaps: 1. we decompose regional gender balance changes into the main components of population growth/decline i.e international net migration, internal net migration and net births. 2. We employ individual register data, estimate multinomial regressions every year 1991–2016 and analyse how the relationship between gender and the probability of moving from rural areas develops over time. We estimate separate regressions for Swedish-born and foreign-born. After controlling for traditional explanatory variables, we interpret the dichotomous gender variable as a measure of “gender norms”. The question is if we can spot gender norm trends that can help explain the decreasing regional gender gaps over time. We find that the development of net birth rates in rural areas explains the decreased gender gap between rural and urban areas since 1968 while net immigration and net internal migration have rather contributed to increasing regional gender gaps. Despite this, the multinomial regressions do not support changing relationships between gender and the probability to out-migrate from rural areas after 1990 for the Swedish-born. For foreign-born, we find evidence of decreased gender differences regarding the probability to leave rural areas. This contributes to an increased surplus of rural men because foreign-born men have an increased probability to stay in rural municipalities in comparison to women. In sum, we do not find that changing gender norms, for Swedish-born or foreign-born, can explain the decreasing gender gaps between rural and urban areas. In fact, for the foreign-born, we find the opposite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021. Vol. 86, p. 282-297
Keywords [en]
gender, gender norms, internal migration, mobility, rural
National Category
Economics Economic History
Research subject
Arbete och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-43839DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.05.011ISI: 000691526600012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85108275071OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-43839DiVA, id: diva2:1569571
Available from: 2021-06-20 Created: 2021-06-20 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Karpestam, PeterHåkansson, Peter Gladoic

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