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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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  • Lokshin, Michael & Harris, Kathleen Mullan & Popkin, Barry M., 2000. "Single Mothers in Russia: Household Strategies for Coping with Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2183-2198, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:28:y:2000:i:12:p:2183-2198
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    2. Dang,Hai-Anh H. & Lokshin,Michael M. & Abanokova,Ksenia & Bussolo,Maurizio, 2018. "Inequality and Welfare Dynamics in the Russian Federation during 1994-2015," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8629, The World Bank.
    3. Ivan Suvorov, 2020. "Expected and Unexpected Consequences of Russian Pension Increase in 2010," Russian Journal of Money and Finance, Bank of Russia, vol. 79(1), pages 93-112, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Kseniya Abanokova & Michael Lokshin, 2015. "Changes in household composition as a shock-mitigating strategy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 371-388, April.
    7. Judith Record McKinney, 2004. "Lone Mothers In Russia: Soviet And Post-Soviet Policy," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 37-60.
    8. Shireen Kanji, 2004. "The Route Matters: Poverty And Inequality Among Lone-Mother Households In Russia," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 207-225.
    9. 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.
    10. Gatskova, Kseniia & Kozlov, Vladimir, 2018. "Doubling Up or Moving Out? The Effect of International Labor Migration on Household Size," CEI Working Paper Series 2017-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Sergey Kapelyuk, 2015. "The effect of minimum wage on poverty," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 389-423, April.
    14. Björn Gustafsson & Ludmila Nivorozhkina, 2004. "Changes in Russian poverty during transition as assessed from microdata from the city of Taganrog," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(4), pages 747-776, December.
    15. 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.
    16. Hai-Anh H. Dang & Michael M. Lokshin & Kseniya Abanokova & Maurizio Bussolo, 2020. "Welfare Dynamics and Inequality in the Russian Federation During 1994–2015," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 32(4), pages 812-846, September.
    17. Joy Pixley & Tsui-o Tai, 2008. "Poverty of Children and Older Adults: Taiwan's Case in an International Perspective," LIS Working papers 493, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Michaela R. 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.
    22. Olga Kislitsyna & Andrew Stickley & Anna Gilmore & Martin McKee, 2010. "The social determinants of adolescent smoking in Russia in 2004," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 55(6), pages 619-626, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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