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Housing the New Russia$
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Jane R. Zavisca

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450372

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450372.001.0001

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Rooms of Their Own

Rooms of Their Own

How Housing Affects Family Size

(p.144) Chapter 7 Rooms of Their Own
Housing the New Russia

Jane R. Zavisca

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines whether Russians calibrate their family sizes to their housing conditions. Restricting family size is one strategy for keeping one's living conditions tolerable, when a separate apartment and/or a separate child's room remain out of reach. However, little is known about how housing affects fertility, in Russia or elsewhere. This chapter considers whether housing conditions actually influence how many children Russians have. To elucidate the causal relationship between housing and reproductive behavior, the chapter analyzes the demographic literature on fertility and shows how housing might, or might not, influence childbearing. Based on a qualitative analysis of discourses on having children, it identifies possible cultural mechanisms that could link housing to reproduction. Statistical evidence suggests that Russians, particularly those with higher education, restrict family size when they lack separate apartments and/or separate rooms for each of their children.

Keywords:   family size, housing, fertility, Russia, reproductive behavior, childbearing, reproduction, education, separate apartments

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