The Timing of Marriage in China

25 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2003

See all articles by Lixin Colin Xu

Lixin Colin Xu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang

World Bank - Information and Communications Technologies Department (ICT)

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: July 21, 2002

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of the marriage timing decisions of young men and women in China. We pay particular attention to distinguishing three explanations for marriage timing: the independence hypothesis, which emphasizes growing economic independence; the career cycle hypothesis, which highlights the difficulty of school-to-work transition; and the search costs hypothesis, which point to structural factors of marriage markets related to search costs. The data set is a sample of Chinese couples with ample variations in marriage market features, personal characteristics, and regional patterns of growth. Exploiting the differences in marriage timing among the couples in our data set, we find empirical results that are largely consistent with the notion that marriage gains, search costs, and job complexity determine the timing of marriage. In particular, marriage is likely to be delayed for urban (but not rural) men and women with higher wage. Regional economic growth appears to slow down the tendency to get married for both men and women and in both cities and the countryside. Access to network of young people (via the Communist Youth League) facilitates marriage for all young people. Better-educated young people tend to get married later in life.

Keywords: marriage timing, job complexity, search costs, school-to-work transition

JEL Classification: J1, O1, D1

Suggested Citation

Xu, Lixin Colin and Qiang, Christine Zhen-Wei and Wang, Limin, The Timing of Marriage in China (July 21, 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=368402 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.368402

Lixin Colin Xu (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
MC 3-427
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4664 (Phone)
202-522-1155 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/cxu

Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang

World Bank - Information and Communications Technologies Department (ICT) ( email )

Strategy Unit
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20433
202-473-8259 (Phone)
202-473-1155 (Fax)

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7596 (Phone)
202-522-1735 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
312
Abstract Views
4,036
rank
96,568
PlumX Metrics