Trends in Educational Assortative Marriage in China from 1970 to 2001

Hongyun Han, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Using the 2000 China Population Census and 2001 Chinese Demographic Reproductive Health Survey, this study applies log-linear models to examine the trends in educational assortative marriage among newlywed cohorts from 1970 to 2000 in China. This study finds the decreasing educational homogamy at national level from 1970 to 1980, which is consistent with previous research. However, The odds of educational homogamy increased substantially during the late 1980s and the early 1990s when China’s GDP per capita started to boom, and then slowed downed in the late 1990s. Correspondingly, the decreasing educational heterogamy since the late 1980s indicates that people with high level of education are less likely to cross barriers. Specifically, people with middle educational levels tend to marry alike or above, leaving those people with very low educational level behind. In sum, the increasing trends in educational homogamy after the early 1980s provide supporting evidence to the modernization hypothesis.

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Presented in Poster Session 5