Non-Marital Fertility in Russia: Second Demographic Transition or Low Human Capital?

Brienna Perelli-Harris, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Theodore P. Gerber, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This study investigates the conditions surrounding non-marital childbearing in post-Soviet Russia. Using retrospective marital, birth, and employment histories that span 1984-2001, we analyze the changing composition of marital and non-marital fertility, including parity, maternal age, and type of union. We then develop an event history model of births that incorporates time-varying covariates such as education, employment status, occupation, and job quality. Finally, we explore the relationship between non-marital childbearing and an individual’s situation at the time of the survey. Factors evaluated include household structure, subjective measures of the family’s financial situation and social status, family income, and household possessions. By analyzing multiple dimensions of the individual and household, we aim to determine whether non-marital childbearing in Russia more closely resembles that in Northern Europe, where it primarily occurs among stable cohabiting unions, or the United States, where it is associated with poverty and the inability to maintain healthy marriages.

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Presented in Session 131: Household Configurations and Reproductive Life