A Reasoned Choice Approach: How Economic and Ideological Factors Interact to Shape the Timing of Marriage

Yingchun Ji, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Family scholars have long been interested in both economic and ideational factors related to family behavior. However, most discussion of the interactive influence of the two has stayed primarily at the theoretical level. Rarely has empirical research examined the interaction between the two dimensions. The micro-economic cost-benefit calculation approach and planned behavior theory are synthesized here to develop hypotheses. Using survey data from the Nepal Chitwan Valley Family Study, I test interactions from the two dimensions relevant to the timing of marriage. Results from discrete-time hazard models show that both education and work experience increase one’s risk of marriage. Those who think it is important to their mother to get married soon and those who believe girls should get married before menstruation are more likely to enter marriage earlier. Furthermore, both the attitude about menstruation versus marriage and the idea of the ideal age for marriage condition the effect of education on the timing of marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 5