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The Influence of Informal Work and Subjective Well-Being on Childbearing in Post-Soviet Russia

Brienna Perelli-Harris
Population and Development Review
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Dec., 2006), pp. 729-753
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20058925
Page Count: 25
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The Influence of Informal Work and Subjective Well-Being on Childbearing in Post-Soviet Russia
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Abstract

During the transition to a market economy, the population of Russia has experienced widespread economic uncertainty and anomie, and fertility has declined to unprecedentedly low levels. In contrast to western Europe, where very low fertility in large measure reflects postponement of childbearing and increasing childlessness, very low fertility in Russia has been primarily driven by the drastic reduction of second and higher-parity births. This study shows that two factors--subjective well-being and participation in informal work--are significantly associated with wanting and having more than one child. Subjective well-being is a psychological resource that helps people maintain a positive attitude, while participation in informal work may be hypothesized as indicative of an ability to act regardless of labor market insecurity. Although these two factors are not directly related, they can be seen as indicators of the willingness to assume additional responsibilities, including childbearing and childrearing.

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