Family formation in post-Soviet Ukraine: changing effects of education in a period of rapid social change
Social Forces, 87, (2), . (doi:10.1353/sof.0.0140).
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Focusing on post-Soviet Ukraine, this paper examines how social transformations changed family formation, leading to the world's lowest fertility rate. The findings show that before Ukraine gained independence, highly educated women had higher first birth rates after controlling for school enrollment and marriage. After independence, highly educated women began to delay childbearing. In contrast, second birth and marriage rates declined after independence, but the effect of education on these events did not change. Explanations for the changing effects of education on first births include the restructured educational system, shifting opportunity costs, reduction in childcare benefits, and exposure to new ideas and values. This study demonstrates how societal-level change not only alters the composition of individual-level characteristics in a population, but also affects the relationship between factors and behavior
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