Fertility after Repartnering in Russia: Pursuing the Two-Child Ideal in a Context of Increased Marital Complexity

Sergei V. Zakharov, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Elena Churilova, National Research University Higher School of Economics and New Economic School, Russia

Despite the growing prevalence and acceptability of second unions in developed countries, the consequences of these developments for fertility have not been adequately studied. We analyzed data from three waves (2004, 2007, and 2011) of the Russian Generation and Gender Survey to examine trends and determinants of births in second and subsequent unions, both marriages and cohabitations. Our findings reveal that the contribution of non-first unions to overall fertility has increased tenfold in the past half-century. Moreover the completed fertility in case of repartnering is not less than the completed fertility of women, which were in the persistent unions. Even women, who gave the first birth outside the union, in case of repartnering had the same number of children as women who did not experience a separation. Thus, stepfamily formation allowed Russian women to reach the two-child ideal at the same measure that living continuously with the first partner.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors