More Money — More Births? Estimating Effects of 2007 Family Policy Changes on Probability of Second and Subsequent Births in Russia
From 2007 to 2015 total fertility rate in Russia increased from 1.42 to 1.78, following a long period of decline in 1990-1999 and stagnation in 2000-2006. Politicians attribute this growth to a package of pro-natalist policy measures introduced in 2007 and particularly to the maternity (family) capital program, the most well-known innovation of the 2007 reform. Existing studies, although sparse, have not actually proven this point of view clearly yet. This paper aims to reveal whether the pro-natalist measures of 2007 have influenced probability of second and consequent births in Russia. Since in 2007 several family policy measures were introduced simultaneously, and the authors estimate their cumulative effect applying a set of binary logistic regressions on the panel of Russian Generations and Gender Survey data collected in 2004, 2007, and 2011. The study reveals that the probability of second and subsequent births before the introduction of policy measures does not differ significantly from that observed after it. The authors find no effect of 2007 family policy changes on probability of second and consequent births in Russia. The data shows some signs of selective influence of the 2007 policy changes on women with lower human capital and incomes, however, further studies on bigger samples are needed to prove this fact. The study extends the academic discussion and adds to the pool of empirical evidence on the pro-natalist policy effects on fertility. By demonstrating no significant effects of Russian 2007 family policy measures the paper contributes to the overcoming of existing publication bias in the field.