Fertility decline in Russia in the early and mid 1990s: the role of economic uncertainty and labour market crises

Kohler, H.-P., Kohler, I.
European Journal of Population, 233–262 (2002)


This paper analyses the fertility decline in Russia in the Early and Mid 1990s from both a macro and micro perspective and presents a striking divergence between these two empirical viewpoints. While the former suggests that the fertility decline after 1989 is associated with the economic hardship accompanying the transition to a market economy, the micro-evidence using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey is to the contrary. There is no negative association between labor market uncertainty or a labor market crisis and fertility, and frequently there is even a positive association. That is, women or couples who are themselves affected by labor market crises often had a higher probability of having another child in the period 1994--96 than women/couples who were less affected by such crises. The lack of a negative association, and the presence of a positive association in many instances, is surprising from the standpoint of economic fertility theory. It is also contrary to many explanatory theories about the recent fertility decline in Central and Eastern European countries that are built on a more or less direct connection between the labor market or an economic crisis and low fertility.
Das Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (MPIDR) in Rostock ist eines der international führenden Zentren für Bevölkerungswissenschaft. Es gehört zur Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, einer der weltweit renommiertesten Forschungsgemeinschaften.