Abstract

The study addresses itself to the question: If it can be shown that economic dependency of women is not associated with fertility, then what are the variables that favor their abstention from work outside home? Results based on an extensive statistical analysis of Soviet data bring into focus new evidence. It was found thateconomic dependency of women is associated with themarriage differential between sexes. This relationship is especially evident in the regions where birth rates are of a low order. In the geographic areas where fertility is high, the percentage of economically inactive women increases with an increase in the urban population portion in an administrative area. Five principal components of urbanization have been identified: (1) educational level, (2) increasing rates of marriage, (3) divorce, (4) equal educational status of women as compared with men, and (5) the rising proportion of economically dependent women in the 16–54 age span. Most of the data are based on the 1959 Census and vital statistics by administrative areas for the U. S. S. R. For analytic purposes these were sorted into 30 areas of low birth rates, 62 areas with moderate rates, and 48 administrative areas corresponding to the high-fertility region in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in several autonomous non-Slav republics.

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