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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.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


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.

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Published date: May 2009
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 72368
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Date deposited: 10 Feb 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:54

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