Determinants of Interethnic Marriage in 19th Century China
Cameron D. Campbell, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Bijia Chen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
James Z. Lee, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hao Dong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
We examine the determinants of interethnic marriage in Shuangcheng county in northeast China from 1866 to 1913. This is the one of the first quantitative studies of ethnic intermarriage in any historical Chinese population. Shuangcheng’s inhabitants were a mixture of Han, Manchu, Mongol, and other ethnicities. Our data consists of roughly 1.1 million observations of 150,000 individuals in the China Multigenerational Panel Dataset-Shuangcheng (CMGPD-SC). These record ethnicity for each household, along with other key social, economic and demographic characteristics. We show that even though Han and non-Han were not supposed to intermarry, they did so in large numbers. We use log-linear methods to characterize patterns of ethnic assortative mating, and estimate logistic regressions to examine how community, household and individual characteristics influenced the probability that a man would marry a wife of the other ethnicity. Results suggest caution in assuming that regulations regarding ethnic marriage reflect actual behavior.
Presented in Session 196: Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating