Analyzing Fertility Trends in Russia, 1985-2001, Using Individual Fertility Histories

Theodore P. Gerber, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Erika Barth Cottrell, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Since the early 1980s, Russia has experienced dramatic fertility decline, entering the ranks of “lowest low” fertility countries in 1996. Also, the proportion of births to unmarried women has surged. Scholars have suggested a variety of economic, socio-cultural, and policy explanations for these trends. However, there have been few if any empirical tests of these explanations, mainly because of data limitations. We analyze the factors behind the decline of overall fertility and growth of non-marital childbearing using individual-level fertility, marital, work, and residential histories spanning 1985-2001 from the Survey on Stratification and Migration Dynamics in Russia (N = 7167). We estimate event history models for first births and any births, for all women and for married and unmarried women separately. Unadjusted models provide us with baseline estimates of trends. We incorporate covariates corresponding to the main explanations for fertility decline and test for temporal changes in certain effects.

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Presented in Session 128: Variations in the Lowest-Low Fertility