The Timing of the First Marriage in Japan: Does Sibling Configuration Matter?

Suzumi Yasutake, Johns Hopkins University

Japanese people are delaying marriage or not marrying at all. This study attempts to understand how the sibling configuration under the Japanese family system called “ie” influences the timing of the first marriage. My research asks two questions: Does sibling configuration influence the timing of the first marriage? And, if so, how has this changed over time? I argue that family heirs have lost their advantage in the marriage market and consequently are delaying marriage compared to non-family-heir children during the period modernization in Japan, which has left family heirs with more responsibilities yet fewer rewards. This delay of marriage would be more obvious in the most recent cohorts. I analyzed the Eleventh National Fertility Survey of Japan by the Cox proportional hazard model and logistic regression. In sum, I found that being family heir delays marriage and the influence is larger for women than for men.

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Presented in Poster Session 6