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Declining Russian fertility


Trevitt, Jamie L. (2006). Declining Russian fertility. Master's thesis / Doctoral dissertation.


Russian fertility levels are currently among the lowest in the world and fall well below the replacement level. Combined with the trend of high mortality, this creates a severe depopulation problem for the Russian Federation. This should be considered an immediate policy concern as current demographic trends place both national security and social welfare at risk. Contrasting theories of demographic transition and economic hardship offer explanations for Russia's fertility decline, but differ significantly in their implications of how income impacts fertility. Demographic transition theory suggests a negative relationship, while economic hardship entails a positive correlation. This paper helps to elucidate the relationship between a woman's individual income, as well as household income, and her total fertility using OLS regression models and data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. The results confirm the hypothesis that a mother's individual income does have a significant and negative relationship with fertility. However, the analysis also shows that household income has a significant and positive effect on the total number of children a woman has. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that either theory is unequivocally correct, and perhaps a combination or new theories are necessary to provide an appropriate explanation for Russia's drop in total fertility rates at a country level.


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Trevitt, Jamie L.