MPIDR Working Paper

Differences between male and female fertility in Russia: an evaluation of basic pattern and data quality using the first wave of the Russian GGS

Alich, D.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2007-015, 30 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (April 2007)
Open Access


While most demographic fertility studies focus on child birth behavior of females, little is known about differences between males and females fertility behavior. The lack of empirical research about men stems from problems such as linking fathers and their biological offspring, biological differences in male reproductive behavior as compared to women, missing data and concerns about the quality of existing data sources. Using the data from the Russian Generation and Gender Survey (2004) of the cohorts 1924 to 1970, this study provides insights into sex-specific fertility differences, by comparing fertility age, timing and parity patterns of Russian men and women. Aggregate measures as well as event history techniques are used to analyze the hypotheses that men have a longer reproductive life span, that they start their fertility career later than women and that males vary more in their number of biological children born than do females. Furthermore, we evaluate how reliable Russian male fertility reports are compared to women’s. The results show that in spite of a typical age difference at the transition to parenthood of approximately two years, males and females have much more common fertility patterns than is suggested by previous studies. Moreover, it is shown that men’s fertility reports are not necessarily biased. These findings suggest that comprehensive future research of Russian men´s fertility pattern is possible.
Keywords: Russian Federation, father, fertility, fertility measurements, mother, sex differentials
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.