Fomenko, Olesya (2010). The effect of schooling, wages, marriage, and socio-economic circumstances on fertility behavior in Russia. Master's thesis / Doctoral dissertation.
The total fertility rate in Russia has been falling over the past several decades from above the replacement fertility level in the early 1960.s (2.42 children) to significantly below the 'safety zone' in 2000 (1.20 children). The low fertility rate is accompanied by the highest death rate among all countries with at least moderate development, suggesting a projected 30% decline in the Russian population by 2053. This research applies the rich longitudinal data found in the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (1994-2006) to study life-cycle fertility decisions leading to the most recent substantial fertility decline in Russia. Specifically, I estimate a comprehensive model of female life-cycle behavior, which accounts explicitly for the interdependence of annual reproductive choices, educational, employment, and marriage decisions as well as earnings outcomes and controls for individual- and community-level heterogeneity. Modeling these fertility-related outcomes jointly allows for a correction for the potential endogeneity arising from the existence of unobserved individual or community characteristics shaping all modeled choices. In addition to demonstrating the importance of the endogeneity correction, the findings indicate that fertility policies should be directed away from supplementation of non-labor income, as it is observed now, and toward macro-stabilization efforts and the reconciliation of the incompatibility of the career demands of the new market system with the requirements of motherhood.