Changing Partner Choice and Marriage Propensities by Education in Taiwan

Yen-Hsin Alice Cheng, Academia Sinica

This paper applies Schoen's (1988) harmonic-mean two-sex marriage propensity approach to nationwide marriage registration data to investigate changing educational patterns of marriage in post-millennium Taiwan. The findings show that while the recent 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. In addition, the proportion of educationally homogamous marriages of all unions has increased, and the share of hypergamous marriages of all heterogamy also increased from 2000 to 2010. Decomposition analyses show that these changes are mainly due to a reduced magnitude in force of attraction, not the availability of eligible partners. Differences in gender-role values and economic well-being across social groups are important causes for these family changes. The impact of foreign brides and cohabitation is also discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality