Trends in the Educational Differentials in Marriage Formation among Taiwanese Women

Yi-chuan Chang, National Taiwan University
Jui-Chung Allen Li, Academia Sinica

We document trends in educational differentials in marriage formation among Taiwanese women using data from Women’s Marriage, Fertility, and Employment Surveys. We analyze rates and the eventual probabilities of first marriage to examine marriage delayed and marriage forgone. We find that (1) women born in more recent cohorts married later and fewer than those born in earlier cohorts, (2) more highly educated women tended to marry later and fewer than less educated women, and (3) the educational differentials were smaller in earlier birth cohorts than in later cohorts. We then construct earnings potentials to test the human capital hypothesis by merging data from Surveys of Family Income and Expenditure. The results show that the observed educational differentials in marriage formation cannot be fully attributed to differences in earnings potentials. We conclude that the effects of education on marriage formation may operate via noneconomic mechanisms above and beyond human capital mechanisms.

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Presented in Poster Session 4