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Non-marital childbearing in Russia: second demographic transition or pattern of disadvantage?

  • Brienna Perelli-Harris

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Theodore P. Gerber
Registered author(s):

    Using retrospective union, birth, and education histories that span 1980-2003, this study investigates nonmarital childbearing in post-Soviet Russia. We employ a combination of methods to decompose fertility rates by union status and analyze the processes that lead to a nonmarital birth. We find that the primary cause of the increase in the proportion of nonmarital births is not due to the changing fertility behavior of cohabitors, nor to changes in union behavior after conception, but due to the increasing proportion of women who cohabit before conception. We also find that the relationship between education and nonmarital childbearing has not changed over time; the least educated women have the highest birth rates within cohabitation and as single mothers, primarily due to a lower probability of legitimating a nonmarital conception. Based on these findings, we argue that Russia has more in common with the pattern of disadvantage in the United States, as opposed to the trends described by the second demographic transition. We also find several aspects of non-marital childbearing that neither of these perspectives anticipates.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-007.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/en/projects_publications/publications_1904/journal_articles/non_marital_childbearing_in_russia_second_demographic_transition_or_pattern_of_disadvantage_3513.htm
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-007.

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    Length: 53 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-007
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Hillard & Linda Waite, . "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Non-Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    2. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    3. Kelly Musick, 2007. "Cohabitation, nonmarital childbearing, and the marriage process," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(9), pages 249-286, April.
    4. Catherine Kenney & Sara McLanahan, 2006. "Why are cohabiting relationships more violent than marriages?," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 127-140, February.
    5. R. Raley, 2001. "Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: evidence for the second demographic transition in the united states?," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 59-66, February.
    6. FFF1Johan NNN1Surkyn & FFF2Ron NNN2Lesthaeghe, 2004. "Value Orientations and the Second Demographic Transition (SDT) in Northern, Western and Southern Europe: An Update," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(3), pages 45-86, April.
    7. Mroz, Thomas A & Popkin, Barry M, 1995. "Poverty and the Economic Transition in the Russian Federation," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-31, October.
    8. Ron J. Lesthaeghe & Lisa Neidert, 2006. "The Second Demographic Transition in the United States: Exception or Textbook Example?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 669-698.
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