Postponement and recuperation in Russia's cohort fertility: does the Pronatalist Policy contribute to the acceleration or deceleration of the postponement transition?

Sergei V. Zakharov, National Research University Higher School of Economics

The author discusses the methodological problems of the analysis of fertility and evaluation of effects of pronatalist family policy in Russia. The author analyzes the changes in Russia’s fertility for the last decades on the basis of a comprehensive set of indicators, which can be obtained on the basis of national statistics (data of vital statistics and population censuses). The central methodological issue discussed in the paper is the interpretation of changes in the level of fertility based on the dual approach to the measurement of the intensity of the demographic processes: on the basis of a system of period indicators (the time scale for the exposure risk of the events is calendar years), and on the basis of a system of cohort indicators (time scale for the exposure - the period from the date of entering the reproductive age for birth cohorts of women). The author uses the well-known concept of “postponement transition” elaborated recently by demographers and demonstrates the example of Russian data, the extent to which the interpretation of changes in fertility in last decades may be different while using period and cohort approaches to demographic analysis. Based on the results of a balanced analysis of various indicators, the author discusses the long-term changes in quantum and timing effects in fertility and formulate its findings on the possible demographic impact of pro-natalist policy on period and cohort indicators of fertility in Russia.

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Presented in Session 116: Policy and fertility