Trends in Homogamy by Education, Ethnicity, and Birth Place in China: 1940-2005

Zheng Mu, National University of Singapore
Qing Lai, Florida International University

This paper examines China’s homogamy trends (1940-2005) along three intertwined social dimensions— education, ethnicity, and birth place. We document the trends by years of marriage using data from the China 2000 census and 2005 inter-census survey. To account for the potential “pool of eligibles,” we construct indicators based on Schoen’s forces of attraction of specific types of marriage. Results show that while educational homogamy trended up by great margins, selections on ethnic origins and birth places have become less common over time. Our findings are well aligned with changes in China’s increasingly vibrant domestic migration, the expansion of higher education, and the rising importance of post-secondary educational institutions as potential marriage markets.

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Presented in Session 71: Marriage Markets