Theoretical and Methodological Problems in Researching Short-Term Fluctuations in Fertility: The Model for Evaluating the Impact of Societal Instability

Yuri Frantsuz, University of Minnesota

Fluctuations in fertility for short-term periods often remain unexplained. There has yet to be a clear understanding of the social factors that produce such phenomena. Some of these fluctuations are caused by societal instability. This paper introduces theoretical and methodological approaches for researching the impact of this instability on fertility behavior, with major focus on the effect of social and political instability. The paper contains a model that incorporates premises of the extended uncertainty reduction theory. The model attempts to link macro-level societal instability with micro-level perception of it in the form of uncertainties and fertility decision-making. Different types of instability are distinguished. Finally, tools for predicting fertility rates that correspond with each type of instability are presented.

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Presented in Session 32: The Effect of Social Structure on Fertility-Related Behavior