Recent Trends in Birth Intervals in Sweden: A Decline of the Speed-Premium Effect?

  • Vitor MirandaEmail author


The so-called speed-premium, introduced in Sweden in the 1980s and still in effect in 2018, grants some advantages regarding parental leave benefits for parents that have two births within a set number of months. Previous research has shown a great increase in the prevalence of short birth intervals in the 1980s and 1990s associated with the introduction of this policy. This study shows that the previously documented spike in short birth intervals has mostly disappeared in recent years. By the 2010s, the pattern of birth intervals is similar to that seen around the time of the introduction of the speed-premium in the early 1980s. Altogether the present results suggest that the effect of the speed-premium on birth spacing is relatively small in recent years.


Birth interval Birth spacing Sweden Parental leave Policy Speed-premium 



The author gratefully acknowledges the helpful comments provided by two anonymous reviewers.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

I have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population and WelfareStatistics SwedenStockholmSweden

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