The importance of job characteristics to women’s fertility intentions and behavior in Russia

Oxana Sinyavskaya, National Research University Higher School of Economics and Universiteit Maastricht
Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University

Increasing women’s employment and fertility rates are both primary political goals of ageing European states, including Russia. As women have increasingly taken on dual roles of earner and carer in the household, how easily these dual roles can be combined has become a central theme in discussions surrounding women’s fertility and employment. We focus this study on the case of Russia, in which low fertility is a pressing issue and work has been a central part of women’s lives for many years. The labor market in Russia dramatically changed after 1991, however. We explore how work conditions vary across branches and assess whether job-specific benefits and conditions are related to childbearing decision-making in the low-fertility context of Russia. We study both intentions and transitions to the first and second birth. Our analysis is based on the pooled cross-section data of three waves of Russian Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS), conducted in 2004, 2007 and 2011, as well as on the retrospective biographies from Education and Employment Survey data, conducted in 2005 on GGS sample. We use ordered logistic regressions for studying intentions to have children in 3 years, and piecewise constant event history model for analyzing transitions to the first and second birth. Our findings show that occupational characteristics appear more related to the timing of entering parenthood than to having a second birth. Differences by occupational branch were few, but we find evidence that family-friendly job characteristics influence first and second intentions and conceptions. Attitudes toward work and family roles do not mediate this relationship. Women who change occupational branches after entering parenthood are less likely to continue childbearing.

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Presented in Session 52: Employment and fertility