Policy and discontinuity in Romanian procreative behaviour

Constanta V. Mihaescu, Academie d'Etudes Economiques de Bucarest
Raluca Dana Caplescu, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies

Romania is a famous example of the forced baby-boom caused in 1967 by the pronatalist policy. The entering into force of this legislation led to the doubling of natality, compared to the previous year. The impact of these cohorts was and still is complex, since the consequences are felt in the health care system, education, labour market, social insurance and in the economic and demographic evolutions of the country. This being the demographic context, we aim at analysing the fertile behaviour of 20th century Romanian women, as well as the way in which they transmit this behaviour, taking into account the tumultuous political, economic and social conditions before the fall of the former regime. The analysis is based on a recent survey on the topic of intergenerational transmission of fertility behaviour developed by a team of researchers from the Polls and Surveys Centre of the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies. The target population consisted of women aged 50 years and more and the sample was build using quota sampling by two criteria: age and residence area. Based on this survey data we will study the procreative behaviour of the respondents in order to show whether there are major discontinuities in the evolution of the reproductive behaviour throughout the 20th century. The main conclusion is that the alternation of the periods when abortion was legal with those when it was illegal caused discontinuities in the fertile behaviour of the respondents. The restrictive policy had only a temporary impact on the downward trend of fertility in Romania.

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Presented in Session 5: Family policies