“Social Capillarity” Revisited: The Relationship between Social Mobility and Fertility in Transitional Poland and Russia

Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University
Anna Matysiak, Warsaw School of Economics

This study explores the relationship between social mobility and fertility in Poland and Russia. These two countries shared a similar context when command economy practices provided relatively low incentives for upward mobility. They differed, however, in their economic performance during the transition process with Poland entering a path of gradual economic growth after a few years of economic turmoil and Russia undergoing a long-lasting crisis. This comparison offers a promising and so far unexplored setting for studying links between fertility and new opportunity structures in a post-communist context where mobility became more significant for men and women and where women have long been perceived as breadwinners but are still seen to be the main care providers. This study also contributes to our understanding of the rapid fertility decline in post-communist countries. We apply event-history analysis techniques to longitudinal micro-data from the Generations and Gender Programme.

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Presented in Session 102: Fertility Research in a Comparative Perspective