School Characteristics and the Transition to Marriage in Chitwan, Nepal

Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University

Although the research literature has reported strong links between exposure to schools and family patterns in rapidly changing societies, less research has examined the detailed characteristics of schools. In this paper I examine how multiple dimensions of schools are linked to young people’s transition to marriage in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal. I divide school characteristics into three domains (volume, quality, and ideational content) and hypothesize how each of these domains is related to marriage rates. I test the hypotheses with data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study and discrete-time event history models. The results show that multiple measures of school quality are associated with marriage rates for men and women. When nearby schools have more volume of students and teachers, are of better quality, and have more egalitarian ideational content, individuals tend to delay marriage. These associations, however, are not explained by individuals’ own experiences with schooling.

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Presented in Session 64: Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries