Seminars & Events

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch)

Love, Life, and "Leftover Ladies" in Urban China: Marriage Matching under Massive Social Changes

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch) is a lunchtime workshop open to public, including IDE staffs, visiting research fellows, IDEAS students, outside researchers and graduate students. This workshop provides a platform for presentation of any work in progress where we can discuss in either English or Japanese.

Those who would attend a seminar are asked to announce yourself to receptionists on your arrival at the IDE and to obtain APL Organizers' signature on your admission card after the seminar.


February 10, 2017. (Friday) 10:30-12:00


Love, Life, and "Leftover Ladies" in Urban China: Marriage Matching under Massive Social Changes


The seminar is to perform a marriage duology in the context of urban Chinese "modern-traditional mosaic" where massive social changes towards westernized lifestyle meet conventional perception on women. The research exploits two nationally representative household datasets over the period 2008-2012 and four waves of the Census between 1982 and 2010. The overture, entitled "Love, Life, and 'Leftover Ladies' in Urban China", addresses how women's pre-marital human capital affects their marriage formation; and the sequel, entitled "A House Is Forever? Housing, Mating and Mating Quality", addresses dynamically how men's pre-marital asset holdings affect women's matching strategy and two post-marriage outcomes: matching quality in terms of spousal education, and marriage stability.

Different from the college marital premium found in the U.S., we find "marital college-discount" for urban women: pre-marital college education reduces their probabilities of marriage by 2.88%-3.6% and a postgraduate degree further oppresses it by 8.4%-10.4%. Women's traits such as beauty, grit, academic self-efficacy, sociality and trustiness play varied roles when their pre-marital education is also taken into account. In particular, beauty is only "conditionally" good in terms of facilitating marriage formation for those without higher education. Counterfactual simulations show that marriage is likely to be forgone rather than delayed for those "Golden Miss" with higher education. There is suggestive evidence that patriarchy still prevails.

Dynamically, neither men's ownership nor the price of pre-marital residential property necessarily brings a high probability of matching or a well-educated spouse, but indeed increases satisfaction within marriage. Men's pre-marital house ownership shortened marital duration. Not listing the wife's name on the deed is likely to drive these results. Better housing in terms of higher prices, however, stabilises the relationship. When controlling for men's pre-marital house ownership and prices, their anthropometric and facial attractiveness determine the probability of getting married; and women make assortative along men's education as well as their mother-in-law's education and parents-in-law's social class.


Professor Jing You (Renmin University of China, VRF of IDE-JETRO, and Visiting Fellow of University of Cambridge)





Institute of Developing Economies, APL Organizers
IMAI Kohei  E-mail:kohei_imaiE-mail
TSUBURA Machiko E-mail:Machiko_TsuburaE-mail
ASUYAMA Yoko E-mail:yoko_asuyamaE-mail