Transition to First Marriage in Reform-Era Urban China: The Persistent Effect of Education in a Period of Rapid Social Change
AbstractThe negative association between education and marriage timing is often explained by an economic independence theory: education provides women with independent economic resources to reject the caregiver role in marriage. However, cross-national evidence shows the importance of cultural and historical continuity in marriage formation. This article examines the relationship between educational attainment and the timing of first marriage in reform-era urban China since the 1980s. Reform-era urban China provides a strong case to examine both theories: it has a strong marriage norm, but it has also experienced a rapid increase in gender inequality in the labor market during the economic reform. Using detailed education and work histories of 3,808 respondents from two waves of the Chinese General Social Survey, this article uses discrete-time hazard regressions to contrast the marriage experience between two cohorts that faced different labor market constraints. The evidence fits better with a path dependence theory. Specifically, the effect of education on marriage timing, for both women and men, is not significantly different between these two cohorts. The results encourage attention to local institutions and local culture in understanding the relationship between conditions in the labor market and marriage formation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Population Research and Policy Review.
Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102983
Marriage timing; Education; Labor market; Chinese economic reform; Family norms;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- H. Elizabeth Peters, .
"Retrospective Versus Panel Data in Analyzing Life-Cycle Events,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
87-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- H. Elizabeth Peters, 1988. "Retrospective Versus Panel Data in Analyzing Lifecycle Events," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 488-513.
- Marcia Carlson & Sara Mclanahan & Paula England, 2004. "Union formation in fragile families," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 237-261, May.
- Yuyu Chen & Hongbin Li, 2006.
"Mother's Education and Child Health: Is There a Nurturing Effect?,"
00021, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
- Chen, Yuyu & Li, Hongbin, 2009. "Mother's education and child health: Is there a nurturing effect?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 413-426, March.
- Valerie Oppenheimer & Matthijs Kalmijn & Nelson Lim, 1997. "Men’s career development and marriage timing during a period of rising inequality," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 311-330, August.
- Grossman, Michael, 2006.
"Education and Nonmarket Outcomes,"
Handbook of the Economics of Education,
- Andrew J. Cherlin, 2012. "Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 38(4), pages 577-607, December.
- Emily Hannum, 2005. "Market transition, educational disparities, and family strategies in rural china: New evidence on gender stratification and development," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 275-299, May.
- Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
- Avraham Ebenstein & Steven Leung, 2010. "Son Preference and Access to Social Insurance: Evidence from China's Rural Pension Program," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 47-70.
- Stephen Gyimah, 2009. "Cohort Differences in Women’s Educational Attainment and the Transition to First Marriage in Ghana," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 455-471, August.
- Willis, Robert J, 1987.
"What Have We Learned from the Economics of the Family?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 68-81, May.
- Robert J. Willis, . "What Have We Learned from the Economics of the Family?," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-1, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Yu Xie & James Raymo & Kimberl Goyette & Arland Thornton, 2003. "Economic potential and entry into marriage and cohabitation," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 351-367, May.
- James Raymo, 2003. "Educational attainment and the transition to first marriage among Japanese women," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 83-103, February.
- Wei-hsin Yu & Kuo-hsien Su & Chi-Tsun Chiu, 2012. "Sibship Characteristics and Transition to First Marriage in Taiwan: Explaining Gender Asymmetries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 609-636, August.
- Sander, William, 1995. "Schooling and Quitting Smoking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 191-99, February.
- Lars Lefgren & Frank McIntyre, 2006. "The Relationship between Women's Education and Marriage Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 787-830, October.
- Murnane, Richard J., 1981. "New evidence on the relationship between mother's education and children's cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 245-252, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.