Gender transitioning and the labor market

The project aims to increase the understanding of the health, labor market, and educational effects of going through a transition process in Sweden while studying the interlinkage of two theoretical modalities of oppression: one based on gender and another based on being trans. To this end, we use data on the whole population of Sweden over the period 1973-2020.

  • Period: 2023-07-01 – 2026-12-31
  • Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet


Previous research identifies transgender persons as one of the most vulnerable groups in society. At the same time, the transgender population is increasing rapidly. In Sweden, for example, only 700 persons had received a gender dysphoria diagnosis in 2004, compared to around 6,000 persons in 2018. Despite this, there is little quantitative research and no population study on the health and socioeconomic living conditions of transgender individuals. The project comprises four parts, including six studies spread across four years. The first part explores the short and long-run labor market impact of gender transitioning. The second part focuses on how starting a gender transition as a minor affects educational attainment. The third part evaluates how the abolishment of the sterilization requirement affected the propensity to go through transition and the life impact of transitioning. In the fourth part, we triangulate the results from all studies to develop a conceptual model of the socio-economic impact of gender transitioning, taking the two contexts of oppression into account. We use register data covering the full population of Sweden 1973-2020 and identify transgender persons as those who have received a gender dysphoria diagnosis. We will use regression approaches tailored to each study, such as difference-in-differences and event study design. Contrasting the outcomes of transgender persons using multiple comparison groups of cisgender persons, we will present a more nuanced picture of the effects of transitioning.

The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council (known as VR in Swedish), while the data utilized in the project has been purchased through funding by The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences (known as KVA in Swedish).

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Projektledare: Emma von Essen
Medarbetare: Ylva Moberg, PhD (the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University), Lucas Tilley, PhD (the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University), Ian Burn, PhD (University of Liverpool)