More money — more births? Estimating effects of 2007 family policy changes on probability of second and subsequent births in Russia

Svetlana Biryukova, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Oxana Sinyavskaya, National Research University Higher School of Economics and Universiteit Maastricht
Irina Nurimanova, National Research University Higher School of Economics

From 2007 to 2014 total fertility rate in Russia increased from 1.42 to 1.75. To what extent this growth is related to a package of family policy measures introduced in 2007? Although the maternity (family) capital program is the most well-known innovation of the 2007 reform, we argue that the new rules of monthly childcare allowance assignment is its another major component. Since all measures were introduced simultaneously, it is only possible to estimate their cumulative effect on subsequent fertility behavior. Using panel Russian Generations and Gender Survey data collected in 2004, 2007 and 2011, this study assesses how family policy changes introduced in 2007 were related to the fertility behavior in Russia in recent years. We find a statistically significant increase in the chances of having second and subsequent births in September 2007 to Summer 2011 in comparison with the period of Summer 2004 to September 2007. We interpret that as a cumulative effect of the 2007 policy changes. We also find that the policy changes influenced women differentially, and had the most remarkable effect on those who were less disposed to the risk of second or consequent births before. We acknowledge that the observed effects might be related only to the calendar shifts in fertility behavior and further data and studies are needed to make any conclusions about completed fertility of the cohorts affected by 2007 family policy measures.

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Presented in Session 87: Family policy vs. changes in fertility patterns