The effect of education on second births in Russia

Dorothea Rieck, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Since the beginning of the political and economic transition significant changes in the demographic behavior have been observed in Russia. Between the mid-1980s and late 1990s the TFR dropped by approximately 50 percent. This drop is basically caused by a reduction in second births. The decline in period fertility followed the political and economic transition that started in 1990. In this study, we examine determinants of second birth risks before and during the transition period, focusing on the impact of female education. Educational attainment serves as an indicator of differences between individuals in many ways. First, education is seen as an indicator for income potential, labor-force behavior and social status. Second, the age of entry into motherhood and the timing and spacing of subsequent births is influenced by the length of educational attendance. We use data from the Russian GGS (2004) and EES (2005) and apply hazard regression. In our hypotheses we follow the economic approach regarding family formation. Due to relative similar opportunity and direct costs of childrearing for all educational groups, we assume no differentiation by education attainment for the pretransitional phase. After 1990 opportunity costs increased, the labor market became more competitive and education and job related experiences gained in importance. Since this considerations are more important for highly educated women with higher earning- and job prospects, we assume lower second birth risks for highly educated women after 1990. Second, we assume that there is a tempo effect for highly educated women. Due to a longer education period and biological limitations, highly educated women have their second child faster after the first one than their lower educated counterparts. Our preliminary results support our hypotheses regarding the influence of educational level on second birth risks, whereas we did not find any evidence for a timing effect.

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Presented in Poster Session 1