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Single Mothers in Russia: Household Strategies for Coping with Poverty

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  • Lokshin, Michael
  • Harris, Kathleen Mullan
  • Popkin, Barry M.

Abstract

The authors describe trends in single parenthood in Russia, examining factors that affect living arrangements in single-mother families. Before economic reform, single mothers and their children were somewhat protected form poverty by government assistance (income support, subsidized child care, and full employment guarantees). Economic reform in Russia has reduced government transfers, eliminated publicly subsidized pre-school care programs, and worsened women's opportunities in the labor market. The loss of government support has eroded family stability, and left single mothers at increased risk of poverty. Over the last decade, the proportion of households headed by women has increased rapidly, raising the risk of poverty. Single-parent families now represent nearly a quarter of all Russian households. Using seven rounds of data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, the authors investigate how household living arrangements, and other factors, affect income in single-mother families. They find that a single parent with more earning power, and child benefits is more likely not to live with relatives. But single mothers are increasingly choosing to live with other adults, or relatives, to survive, and to raise their children in times of economic stress, and uncertainty. Half of all single mothers in Russia live with their parents, their adult siblings, or other adult relatives. Help from relatives is important to single-mother families, and that help - including the sharing of domestic and childcare duties - is more efficient, and productive when the single parent lives with the family. The other half live in independent residences, and face increased risk of poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 28 (2000)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2183-2198

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:28:y:2000:i:12:p:2183-2198

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References

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  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "Parental and Public Transfers to Young Women and Their Children," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1195-1212, December.
  10. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
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  12. Rendall, Michael S & Speare, Alden, Jr, 1995. "Elderly Poverty Alleviation through Living with Family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 383-405, November.
  13. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Bühler, 2003. "Additional work, family agriculture, and the birth of a first or a second child in Russia at the beginning of the 1990s," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Cordula Zabel, 2008. "Patterns of partnership formation among lone mothers in Russia," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-020, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  3. Christoph Bühler & Dimiter Philipov, 2005. "Social capital related to fertility: theoretical foundations and empirical evidence from Bulgaria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Utrata, Jennifer, 2008. "Babushki as Surrogate Wives: How Single Mothers and Grandmothers Negotiate the Division of Labor in Russia," Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies, Working Paper Series qt3b18d2p8, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley.
  5. Louise Grogan, 2013. "Household Formation Rules, Fertility and Female Labour Supply: Evidence from post-communist countries," Working Papers 1302, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. World Bank, 2002. "Child Welfare Outcomes During the 1990s : The Case of Russia, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15325, The World Bank.
  7. Annette Kohlmann & Sergej M. Zuev, 2001. "Patterns of childbearing in Russia 1994 - 1998," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  8. Shireen Kanji, 2011. "Labor Force Participation, Regional Location, and Economic Well-Being of Single Mothers in Russia," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 62-72, March.
  9. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Valerie Martin, 2011. "Economic conditions of stepfamilies from a cross-national perspective," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Christoph Bühler & Dimiter Philipov, 2005. "Social Capital Related to Fertility: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evidence from Bulgaria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 3(1), pages 53-81.
  11. Judith Record McKinney, 2004. "Lone Mothers In Russia: Soviet And Post-Soviet Policy," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 37-60.
  12. Grogan, Louise, 2013. "Household formation rules, fertility and female labour supply: Evidence from post-communist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1167-1183.

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