Fertility Intentions and Risk Management: Exploring the Fertility Decline in Eastern Europe During Transition
Between 1985 and 1995, fertility in Eastern Europe declined from 2.2 children per woman to merely 1.5 on region-average. Previous research has emphasized mainly the economic turmoil during transition or the influx of new ideas regarding fertility and family relations. This article suggests that applying a risk management perspective on fertility patterns may put additional light on the reasons behind the fertility decline in post-communist Europe. The complexity of modern social systems has made people increasingly dependent on the state for risk evaluation and risk management. The article formulates the hypothesis that transition itself disrupted the mental models that helped people to navigate among the risks associated to having and raising children. Left to their own devices, women in Eastern Europe became more inclined to postpone childbirth or discard this option altogether.
KeywordsAnomie Eastern Europe Fertility Risk management Transition
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