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Shifting economic foundation of marriage in Japan: the erosion of traditional marriage

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  • Setsuya Fukuda

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

Japan is one of few developed countries in which marriage and higher earning potential among women are negatively associated. As the proportion of births occurring outside of marriage remains low in Japan, fertility is still significantly influenced by marriage trends, which are in turn influenced by societal expectations regarding the marriageability of educated women. Previous studies have suggested that the economic independence associated with higher education is at the root of this negative relationship, but how persistent will this relationship prove to be? As women’s education rapidly catches up with men’s, there is reason to suspect that marriage trends are also in transition. This study examines the latest marriage-related behavior patterns among Japanese women from 2002 onward, focusing on the relationship between women’s economic emancipation and marriage in a gender-traditional society. Using a newly available large panel survey on young adults in Japan, it will demonstrate that the effects of women’s education have reversed, and are now in fact positive.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-033
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-033.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(16), pages 461-484, November.
    2. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote & Ariel Dora Stern, 2008. "Will the Stork Return to Europe and Japan? Understanding Fertility within Developed Nations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    3. Genda, Yuji & Kurosawa, Masako, 2001. "Transition from School to Work in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 465-488, December.
    4. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, April.
    5. Robert D. Retherford & Naohiro Ogawa & Rikiya Matsukura, 2001. "Late Marriage and Less Marriage in Japan," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 65-102.
    6. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(17), pages 485-498, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Japan; economic theory; education of women; event history analysis; marriage; mate selection; social change; women's emancipation;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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