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The post-communist fertility puzzle
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Demography Unit)
2010 (English)In: Population: Research and Policy Review, ISSN 0167-5923, E-ISSN 1573-7829, Vol. 29, no 2, 193-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fertility has unanimously declined across the entire post-communistregion. This study explores the variation in fertility trends over time among thesecountries and assesses to what degree three explanations are applicable: seconddemographic transition (SDT), postponement transition (PPT) or reaction to theeconomic crisis. Moreover, on the basis of SDT and PPT theoretical tenets, as wellas descriptive evidence, the economic context is hypothesized to be linked to twoprocesses of fertility decline conversely. The results show that no one theoreticalexplanation is sufficient to explain the complex fertility declines across the entirepost-communist region from 1990 to 2003. In some countries, a great part of thedecline in fertility occurred before significant postponement of childbearing began,which indicates that the dramatic decline was due to stopping behavior or postponementof higher order births. Postponement of first births, either through PPT orSDT processes, greatly contributed to fertility decline in a small number of countries.Pooled cross-sectional time-series analyses of age-specific birthrates confirmthat these two distinct processes are present and show that the economic crisisexplanation has explanatory power for declining birth rates. In contrast, logisticregressions show that the likelihood of postponing childbirth increases withimproved economic conditions. These results confirm the importance of taking theeconomic context into account when discussing explanations for fertility decline.More specifically, the results indicate that the severity and duration of economiccrisis, or absence thereof, influenced the extent and manner in which fertilitydeclined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
USA: Springer, 2010. Vol. 29, no 2, 193-231 p.
Keyword [en]
Fertility, Post-communist, Economic crisis, Postponement transition
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64781DOI: 10.1007/s11113-009-9136-7Open AccessOAI: diva2:458752
Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-23 Last updated: 2012-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Billingsley, Sunnee
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