Consequences from school- and residential segregation

My research mainly deals with how different types of segregation affect individuals’ life chances. For example, I examine if grades among ninth graders suffer by school segregation, and if segregation affects the likelihood to become eligible tosecondary school negatively. I also work with studies on how a segregated environment when growing up is associated with education and income in adulthood, as well as with social mobility.

My thesis

I achieved my PhD in Sociological Demography in 2014 at Stockholm University. In my dissertation, Gendered Migration Patterns Within a Sex Segregated Labor Market, I examined heterosexual couple’s relocation decisions, and how it tends to favor the man rather than the woman economically. I also studied how sex segregation on the labor market and attitudes towards women’s and men’s roles are associated with this.

My research today

I am still interested in gender equality, and works with a number of projects on how the division of housework and parental leave infl uence couples, mostly in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University and at the University of Melbourne. But most of the research I do today deals with segregation at schools and in neighborhoods, and the consequences this may have on individuals’ life chances. Together with Professor Ryszard Szulkin and Professor Gunn Birkelund at the Institute of Analytical Sociology I examine, for instance, how children’s grades in ninth grade are infl uenced by segregated school environments, as well as how a segregated environment while growing up is associated with education and income in adulthood.

Research on registry data

The greater part of my thesis and the research that I am doing today is based on analyses of register data. Sweden’s comprehensive registry data is unique, enabling research that is diffi cult to perform in other countries. For example, register data makes it possible to study rare events, such as the long-distance moves for couples with children. The size of the registry data makes it possible to examine how siblings experiencing different levels of segregation differ in terms of grades or other outcomes. And using records on where an individual is registered every year, we can

construct detailed measures of residential segregation, and study how individuals are affected by segregation in the longer term.


Both my thesis and my current research was funded by a larger registry data initiativet hat the Swedish Research Council initiated in 2009; Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM). One of the main purposes of SIMSAM is to make sure that the Swedish registry data achieve their full potential in terms of research. See more information about SIMSAM on and more information about the Swedish research on registry data on

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Three recent academic works

  • Brandén, M., Birkelund, G. E., & Szulkin, R. (2018). Ethnic Composition of Schools and Students’ Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden. International Migration Review, 0197918318769314.
  • Brandén, M., and Haandrikman, K. (2018). Who Moves to Whom? Gender Differences in the Distance Moved to a Shared Residence. European Journal of Population To publication
  • Brandén, M., Bygren, M., and Gähler, M. (2018). Can the Trailing Spouse Phenomenon Be Explained by Employer Recruitment Choices? Population, Space and Place, 24(6). DOI: 10.1002/psp.2141.

Three often cited academic works

  • Brandén, M. (2013). Couples' Education and Regional Mobility - the Importance of Occupation, Income and Gender. Population, Space and Place, 19(5): 522-526.
  • Brandén, M. (2014). Gender, Gender Ideology, and Couples' Migration Decisions. Journal of Family Issues, 35(7): 950-971.
  • Goldscheider, F., Bernhardt, E., and Brandén, M. (2013). Domestic Gender Equality and Childbearing in Sweden. Demographic Research, 29(4): 1097-1126.

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Diretor of studies - Doctoral studies in Analytical SociologyShow/Hide content