Edvin Hertegård will defend his doctoral thesis "Essays on Families, Health Policy, and the Determinants of Children's Long-Term Outcomes"


On Monday, June 12 at 09:15, Edvin Hertegård will defend his doctoral thesis Essays on Families, Health Policy, and the Determinants of Children's Long-Term Outcomes in Lecture Hall 2 at Ekonomikum. Welcome!

PortraitThe thesis consists of four essays in labor economics, health economics, and family economics.

The first chapter examines the impact of a reform to the Swedish divorce laws in 1974 on children's long-term outcomes. Families who were exposed to more restrictive divorce laws after the reform had a lower risk of experiencing divorce, and the children in these families also achieved better schooling outcomes.

The second chapter focuses on the effects of increased fluoride levels in drinking water on children's cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, as well as their schooling outcomes later in life. The study shows that exposure to policy-relevant fluoride concentrations during early childhood has negative effects on cognitive abilities, non-cognitive abilities, and the likelihood of completing high school.

Moving to the third chapter, the authors evaluate the effects of partial school closures in Sweden during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that keeping lower secondary schools open during this period had only minor consequences on the overall spread of the virus in society.

Lastly, the fourth chapter explores how experiencing economic crises, specifically paternal job loss during the 1990s crisis in Sweden, can influence the career choices of the next generation of workers. The study reveals that children exposed to fathers losing their jobs in heavily affected sectors, like manufacturing and construction, had their early career choices impacted, leading to lasting effects on their career trajectories.

Collectively, these chapters demonstrate the significant role of the family environment in shaping children's long-term labor market outcomes, health outcomes, and early career decisions.

Discussant: Professor Helmut Rainer, University of Munich

Grading committee:

  • Professor Mårten Palme, Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Professor Per Johansson, Department of Statistics, Uppsala University
  • Professor Eva Mörk, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

Professor Hans Grönqvist, Department of Economics, Linneus University
Professor Helena Svaleryd, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

Last modified: 2023-06-21