Social capital and gender equity in explaining fertility in Russia

Oxana Sinyavskaya, Independent Institute for Social Policy, Russia and Universiteit Maastricht
Alla Tyndik, Independent Institute for Social Policy, Moscow

This paper follows previous research on the role of social capital and gender equity in fertility behavior. Our research question is to what extent social capital and gender equality in housework and childcare can explain fertility intentions and subsequent births in Russia. Russia is a country with prevalence of one-child families, whereas social norm is still two-children family. Since state support of families with children is weak and public childcare is underdeveloped, families bear most of child-related costs. The paper is based on two waves of Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), conducted in Russia in 2004 and 2007. Sample includes women of 18-44 and men with partners of the same age. We used binary logit models. Dependent variables include a) intentions to give birth within 3 years, b) births between two waves. Main explanatory variables include gender equity and social capital. The former varies from traditional to egalitarian partnerships. The latter is measured by five variables - 'parental family', 'attitudes toward intergenerational support', 'financial transfers', 'closeness to parents' and 'received childcare'. We control for sex, birth cohort, regional availability of public childcare, socio-economic status. The results show that social network for childcare does not influence either intended or actual fertility. Close relations with separately living parents increase only intentions to become parents. But access to financial transfers influence both intended and actual births of the first and second child. Besides, egalitarian division of housework and childcare significantly increases the probability of first and second births and probability of intentions to have a second child. The tentative conclusion is that gender equity concept is more relevant to explaining fertility behavior of Russian population than social capital.

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Presented in Session 54: Gender equity and fertility