The Demographic Transition in Post-Communist Societies

Louis R Godena louisgodena at
Sun Sep 29 16:27:16 MDT 1996

Luciano suggests that the rapidly deteriorating social situation from the
late 1980s may also be due

> to a relaxation of censorship and a more open policy of disclosing "bad"
ones [statistics]? After all we are
>talking about the "glasnost" era and the post-Chernobyl years.

Mikhail S. Bernstam,  in his essay  "Trends in the Soviet Population,"  in
Henry S. Rowen and Charles Wolf, Jr., *The Future of the Soviet Empire* (New
York: 1987, Institute for Contemporary Studies/St Martin's Press),
complains that pre-1980 figures supplied by the Soviet government "do not
correspond to any of the [usual] model situations" used by western social
scientists (p. 197).    This makes it especially difficult to draw sound
conclusions on demographic or behavorial economic convergence for a number
of the years prior to 1980.     For example,  when did actual divergencies
in fertility,  occupational selection,  household strategies of resource
allocation,  etc.  widen between whites and non-whites in the Soviet
population?     Different models are used by Soviet and non-Soviet sources
and in some cases different figures emerge within the same organizations of
both. This problem may have actually been exacerbated with the advent of
the Gorbachev reforms.

Louis Godena

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