Assortative Mating on Age: Trends in the Spousal Age Difference

John B. Casterline, Ohio State University
Zhenchao Qian, Ohio State University
Jing Liu, Ohio State University

This paper presents a multi-country analysis of trends in the spousal age difference from the 1970s to the present. Our focus is the non-Western societies of Latin America, Africa, and Asia (n = 25+ countries). For these regions, this will be the most comprehensive rigorous analysis of assortative mating on age that has been carried out in recent years. We will present a descriptive analysis of trends in the spousal age difference, and will use log-linear models to model assortative mating according to age. We will also take into account assortative mating on education -- a key theme of this research is the interplay of age and educational attainment as characteristics of prospective spouses. We posit that marriages have become more age homogamous; and that the amount of narrowing in the spousal age gap is directly related to the increase in women's educational attainment and to the increase in women's age at marriage.

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Presented in Session 82: Assortative Mating