Later marriages or fewer? Changes in the marital behavior of Japanese women

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Abstract

Using pooled cross-sectional data from recent censuses and wage surveys, age-specific models of marriage prevalence are estimated in order to examine whether rapid changes in the marital behavior of Japanese women reflect delayed marriage or an increase in the proportion who will never marry. Results indicate that higher wages for females, higher educational attainment, and recency of cohort are associated with lower marital prevalence at ages 30-34, consistent with an interpretation of increasing nonmarriage. Given the rapid pace with which Japan's population is projected to age, the rarity of nonmarital childbearing, and the relative absence of family alternatives to marriage, an increase in the proportion of those who never marry would have potentially major social, economic, and demographic consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1034
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • Delayed marriage
  • Japan
  • Marriage market
  • Women's economic status

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