Economic Foundation of Marriage in the Context of Labor Market Changes

So-jung Lim, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Using representative panel data with rich information on labor market experience, this study examines to what extent the recent shifts in economic structure and substantial labor market changes under the process of economic globalization are associated with transition into first marriage, one of the key behaviors in recent family changes. This preliminary analysis focuses on Japan, where family changes and economic restructuring have been substantial in recent years relative to other nations with advanced economies. Results indicate that higher income is positively associated with transition into first marriage, that self-employment and family work decrease the hazard of first marriage, and that working hours play important mediating roles between employment and first marriage among the Japanese women. Subsequent extensions of these analyses will seek to compare these results with U.S. data (NLSY) and interpret differences between patterns observed among women in Japan and the U.S. in a comparative perspective.

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Presented in Session 133: Globalization and Family Changes