The Influence of Coping Mechanisms and a Positive Outlook on Childbearing during Periods of Economic Uncertainty

Brienna Perelli, University of Michigan

While aggregate studies have shown a correlation between economic crisis and fertility decline, few micro-level studies have demonstrated a direct link between economic uncertainty and fertility preferences and behavior. Russia, which is experiencing very low fertility is one such case; there is no support for a direct link between labor force participation and fertility behavior on the micro-level. In this paper, I provide evidence that previously unexplored coping mechanisms and positive psychological attitudes significantly predict fertility dynamics in Russia, while conventional methods of operationalizing economic uncertainty do not. Using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, I analyze the relationship between coping mechanisms and indicators of positive outlook on both desired fertility and additional childbearing behavior for women of reproductive age. These results reveal how people take charge of their lives, regardless of the structural changes that create strain and hardship.

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Presented in Session 93: Very Low Fertility II