What is it about?

We examine reproductive responses to major economic shocks in a small Arctic community in the Russian Arctic. Following predictions from life history theory, we expect earlier and faster reproduction as an adaptive response to environmental harshness. We find that these factors do not explain the rapid drop in fertility by themselves. We find that the odds that women ceased or indefinitely postponed reproducing double (for those with 2 - 4 children) or triple (for women without children).

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Why is it important?

This research adds to evolutionary theories of reproductive responses to uncertainty. We propose a method to examine postponement and stopping behavior in addition to changes in age at first birth and interbirth interval.


The precipitous drop in fertility across Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union affected indigenous minority populations and rural communities disproportionately. This research adds to understanding the processes involved in such demographic trends.

Professor John P Ziker
Boise State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reproductive Responses to Economic Uncertainty, Human Nature, September 2016, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s12110-016-9267-6.
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