Additional work, family agriculture, and the birth of a ﬁrst
or a second child in Russia at the beginning of the 1990s
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Abstract. At the beginning of the transition period, many Russian households faced
substantial economic hardships and uncertainties. An economic downturn had become
one of the major factors responsible for the signiﬁcant and rapid decline of Russian
fertility. However, many households tried to cope with this situation by engaging in
multiple income generating activities and the cultivation of food on private plots of
land. The question therefore arises whether these activities had a positive impact on
fertility decisions. This paper explores the association between additional employment
or subsistence measures (second jobs, part-time self-employment, and part-time family
agriculture) and the probability to have a ﬁrst or a second child in Russia during 1990
and the spring of 1993. Data from 966 respondents from the Russian component of the
survey ‘‘Social Stratiﬁcation in Eastern Europe after 1989: General Population Survey’’
show that activities that generate an additional income were positively associated with
the birth of a second child. This is especially the case if these activities produce half of a
respondent’s or her household’s income. The birth of a second child was also positively
associated with the fact that a household consumed food that was cultivated by the
household itself. However, none of these activities was signiﬁcantly connected with the
birth of a ﬁrst child.
Key words: Family agriculture, fertility, Russia, secondary employment, transition
Between 1987 and 1997 the countries of the Russian Federation faced a
serious decline in fertility. After a period of continuous fertility increase
in the ﬁrst half of the 1980s, the total fertility rate (TFR) of these
countries reached a local maximum of 2.2 in 1987 (see Figure 1).
However, this development converted immediately afterwards and the
TFR declined within a 10-year period to a minimum of 1.2.
This signiﬁcant decline was initially caused by a decreasing inﬂuence
of pronatalistic policies that started at the beginning of the 1980s. These
policies led to the temporary increase of fertility until 1987 (Avdeev &
Population Research and Policy Review 23: 259–289, 2004.
Ó 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.