Educational homogamy in the developing world

Albert Esteve, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Robert McCaa, University of Minnesota
Timothy Riffe, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Assortative mating patterns have been little investigated in the developing world. Our paper examines the effect of changes in increasing schooling on the prevalence and conditions of unions in various contexts of the developing world. More specifically, we refer to the effects on assortative mating patterns with regard to education. We use census microdata for several countries available from the IPUMS-International website. The selected countries are representative of various contexts of the developing world: Brazil, China, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, India (not presently integrated into IPUMS database). Results show some of the possibilities for comparative research of marriage patterns in time and space. We see that significant changes are underway as union formation, particularly for females, is postponed to the mid-twenties and beyond. At the same time, the proportions of never-marrying (or forming a union) increase. Educational attainment is an important factor in both these developments.

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Presented in Session 161: Gender, educational achievement and the marriage market