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Late Marriage and Less Marriage in Japan

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  • Robert D. Retherford
  • Naohiro Ogawa
  • Rikiya Matsukura
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    Abstract

    Between 1975 and 1995, the singulate mean age at marriage in Japan increased from 24.5 to 27.7 years for women and from 27.6 to 30.7 years for men, making Japan one of the latest-marrying populations in the world. Over the same period, the proportion of women who will never marry, calculated from age-specific first-marriage probabilities pertaining to a particular calendar year, increased from 5 to 15 percent for women and from 6 to 22 percent for men-behaviors sharply different from those characterizing the universal-marriage society of earlier years. This article investigates how and why these changes have come about. The reasons are bound up with rapid educational gains by women, massive increases in the proportion of women who work for pay outside the home, major changes in the structure and functioning of the marriage market, extraordinary increases in the prevalence of premarital sex, and far-reaching changes in values relating to marriage and family life. Copyright 2001 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 65-102

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:27:y:2001:i:1:p:65-102

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    Cited by:
    1. Joshua R. Goldstein & Tomáš Sobotka & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2009. "The end of 'lowest-low' fertility? (with supplementary materials)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Divorce in Japan: Why It Happens, Why It Doesn’t," EIJS Working Paper Series 201, The European Institute of Japanese Studies, revised 26 Jan 2006.
    3. Setsuya Fukuda, 2009. "Shifting economic foundation of marriage in Japan: the erosion of traditional marriage," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-033, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Jose Ignacio Gimenez, 2007. "Household Division of Labor, Partnerships and Children: Evidence from Europe," Economics Series Working Papers 333, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2007. "Division of Household Labor and Cross-Country Differences in Household Formation Rates," Economics Series Working Papers 325, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2005. "Social Effects, Household Time Allocation, and the Decline in Union Formation: Working Paper 2005-07," Working Papers 16517, Congressional Budget Office.
    7. James M. Raymo & Larry L. Bumpass & Miho Iwasawa, 2004. "Marital Dissolution in Japan," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 11(14), pages 395-420, December.

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