Economic Determinants of Fertility in Belarus: a Micro-Data Analysis
This paper examines the determinants of births in Belarus in 1996-2007 by using detailed micro data from the Belarusian Household Budget Surveys (BHBS). The literature offered several explanations of the recent trends in fertility in Belarus and in other former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. It was argued that the collapse of the Soviet Union and the concomitant economic instability reduced fertility in the 1990s, while the economic growth and stabilization were responsible for its recovery since 2005. We evaluate these hypotheses by looking at the determinants of the first, the second, and the third births, separately for women aged below 30 and above 30. We provide new evidence on the presence and the relative importance of the economic determinants, including income and wages, economic uncertainty, maternity and childcare benefits. Our findings can be incorporated in the future demographic policies in Belarus and other countries with similar experiences.
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