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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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Children Are Not Capital

Children Are Not Capital

Ambivalence about Pronatalist Housing Policies

(p.163) Chapter 8 Children Are Not Capital
Housing the New Russia

Jane R. Zavisca

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Russia's young people have reacted to government policies that seek to stimulate birth by investing in the housing sector. Housing-based baby bonuses could potentially influence birthrates through two mechanisms. First, if maternity capital improves housing conditions, and housing conditions determine reproductive behavior, then maternity capital should lead to higher fertility. Second, if maternity capital helps to legitimize the transition to a housing market, this could improve women's confidence in the future, which would incline them to have more children. Maternity capital is likely to fail on both counts, whether as housing policy or a legitimation strategy. This chapter draws on the results of a Kaluga study conducted in 2002 to discuss the attitudes of Russians toward reproduction, maternity capital, and pronatalism as part of housing policy. It shows that maternity capital has undermined the government's legitimacy and backfired as a civic-nationalist project.

Keywords:   young people, housing, baby bonuses, maternity capital, reproductive behavior, fertility, housing policy, reproduction, pronatalism, legitimacy

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