Marriage and fertility change in post-Soviet Tajikistan

Clifford, David Michael (2009) Marriage and fertility change in post-Soviet Tajikistan. University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 160pp.


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This thesis, structured into four separate but related papers, uses survey birth history
data to examine marital and fertility change in post-Soviet Central Asia, with a
particular focus on Tajikistan.

The first paper, ‘Through civil war, food scarcity and drought: fertility and nuptiality
during periods of crisis in post-Soviet Tajikistan’, presents recent trends in marriage
and fertility rates in Tajikistan since 1989. The fluctuating pattern of change
illustrates the importance of three specific crises: the period of peak fighting in the
civil war in 1992, which led to a decrease in birth registration but may also have
contributed to a real decline in fertility in the worst affected areas in 1993; a food
crisis in 1995, leading to immediate and significant declines in marriage and fertility;
and a drought in 2000-01, which also led to marriage and fertility declines.

Given the significant changes in nuptiality in Tajikistan, the next stage of the thesis
places these changes within a wider Central Asian context. The second paper,
‘Marrying more and earlier: age-period interaction in trends of first union formation
in transitional Central Asia’, documents the significant increase in rates of first union
formation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the late 1980s and
early 1990s, showing that this increase was most marked at younger ages. The third
paper, ‘Tajikistan shows the biggest collapse of all: comparing declines in union
formation in post-Soviet Central Asia’, examines rates of first union formation in
these countries in the post-Soviet period. It finds a significant decline in union
formation across the region, but also clear differences between the republics in terms
of the extent of the decline. Tajikistan, which experienced the most severe post-
Soviet declines in food security, had the highest rate of union formation in the late-
Soviet period but the lowest rate by the turn of the millennium.

The fourth paper, ‘Spousal separation, selectivity and contextual effects: exploring the
relationship between international labour migration and fertility in post-Soviet
Tajikistan’ contributes to the sparse literature on the impact of temporary migration
on fertility in origin areas. Fertility and migration models are solved simultaneously
to account for cross-process correlation. There is clear evidence for a short-term
disruptive effect of spousal separation, but it is too early to assess the implications for
completed fertility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 72368
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:04

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