Changing marriage differentials by age and education in Taiwan, 1980-2010

Yen-Hsin Alice Cheng, Academia Sinica

Using nationwide marriage registration data and the census, this paper applies Schoen's (1988) harmonic-mean two-sex propensity score model to investigate the changing age and educational patterns of marriage during an era of family decline from 1980 to 2010 in Taiwan. The findings show that the tremendous drop in prime-age marriages has not been compensated with higher rates of nuptiality at later ages. In addition, an emerging trend toward more female age hypogamous marriages and fewer traditional male hypogamy has taken place since the 1980s, especially during the post-millennium years. The proportion of educationally homogamous marriages of all unions has increased from 39% in 2000 to 43% in 2010. While the retreat from marriage is observed across all educational groups for both sexes, the drop in marriage rates is particularly drastic among the least educated. Marriage has become more prevalent and affordable for the better educated sector of the Taiwanese population.

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Presented in Session 65: Assortative mating, marriage and divorce