Realization of fertility intentions in Russia

Alina Pelikh, European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD)
Michaela Kreyenfeld, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Anne-Kristin Kuhnt, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

A large body of literature exists that examines the fertility desires of individuals. However, this type of research often draws on cross-sectional data only. Thus, there is only little knowledge under which conditions people realize their fertility intentions. This paper draws on newly available data from the first two waves of the Russian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). It investigated whether persons who stated that they have a positive intention in wave 1 (2004) realized these intentions until the second wave (2007). The Russian context seems ideal to study the realization of fertility intentions. Russian society has been exposed to severe economic uncertainties since the collapse of communism. This enables us to focus on how uncertainties hinder respondents to realize their positive intentions. More specifically we address the following research questions: How large is the share of respondents who realized their positive fertility intentions from wave 1 to wave 2? Which are the inhibiting factors that prevent people from having children? Are these economic uncertainties or rather uncertainties in other domains of the life course? First descriptive findings indicate that only 25 percent of those who reported positive fertility intentions in wave 1 had a child within three years (until wave 2). We also find parity specific differences. Compared to first children, second children are less likely to be realized. We also find that economic factors inhibit the transition to the second child. Key words: Fertility intentions, Fertility behavior, Economic uncertainty, Panel data, Russia

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Presented in Poster Session 1