On Changing Factors of Marriage Transformation in Japan: Decomposition of Delay in Women's First Marriage Process

Ryuichi Kaneko, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan

This paper presents an attempt to clarify the factors and mechanisms affecting the delay in marriage observed amongst Japanese women. Using cohort data from nationally representative surveys, the rise in age at first marriage is decomposed into contributions by several socially recognizable factors. First, timing trends in the marriage process components, age at first encounter with spouse, and duration of premarital association are separately examined to identify behavioral changes in relation to theories of marriage timing determination. Following this, the rise in age at first marriage caused by changes in the components is disaggregated into contributions from compositional changes in the type of encounter, socioeconomic characteristics, and individual values regarding marriage and family. The results indicate that there is significant dynamism of the process components and compositional changes of the factors underlying the monotonic rise in age at first marriage which even vary according to transformation phases of marriage behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements