Going Beyond the First Child: Analysis of Russian Mothers'Desired and Actual Fertility Patterns

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Victoria Levin

Victoria Levin

World Bank

Elena Besedina


Tami Aritomi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 18, 2016


The Russian Federation's population has been declining since 1992, but recently the decline appears to be over. Although fertility has risen since the 2007 introduction of the family policy package, which focused on stimulating second and higher-order births, total fertility rates still remain significantly below replacement rate. Unlike some Western European countries, low overall fertility in Russia can be explained predominantly by a high prevalence of one-child families, despite the two-child ideal family size reported by the majority of Russians. This paper examines the correlates of Russian first-time mothers' desire and decision to have a second child. Using the 2004?12 waves of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, the study focuses on the motherhood-career trade-off as a potential obstacle to higher fertility in Russia. The preliminary results indicate that among Russian first-time mothers, being in stable employment is positively associated with the likelihood of having a second child. Moreover, the desire to have a second child is positively associated with the first child attending formal childcare, which suggests that the availability, affordability, and quality of such childcare can be important for promoting fertility. These results are broadly consistent with previous studies in other European countries that indicate that the ability of mothers to combine work and family has important implications for fertility, and that pro-natalist policies focusing on childcare accessibility can offer the greatest payoffs. In addition to these factors, better housing conditions, being married, having an older child, and having a first-born boy are also positively associated with having a second child.

Keywords: Gender and Poverty, Economics and Gender, Gender and Economics, Gender and Economic Policy

Suggested Citation

Levin, Victoria and Besedina, Elena and Aritomi, Tami, Going Beyond the First Child: Analysis of Russian Mothers'Desired and Actual Fertility Patterns (April 18, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7643. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766757

Victoria Levin (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Elena Besedina

KSE ( email )

vul. Yakira, 13, 3d floor, suite 334
Kyiv, 04119

KEI ( email )

Kyiv, 04119

Tami Aritomi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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