Trends in Assortative Mating by Sibship Position in Japan

Chia-ying Chen, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Miho Iwasawa, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan

In this paper, we examine change across marriage cohorts in assortative mating with respect to eldest child status in Japan. This focus is motivated by important social expectations and responsibilities associated with eldest child status and the increasing prevalence of only-children and eldest children in Japan’s rapidly aging population. analyzes are based on pooled data from four Japanese National Fertility Surveys conducted between 1982 and 1997. Information on sibship size and composition of respondents and their spouses enables us to evaluate whether: 1) theoretically less desirable pairings are indeed less prevalent net of population composition, 2) eldest child homogamy has become less desirable over time, and 3) the likelihood of different sibship pairings depends upon spouses’ relative socioeconomic status. By investigating the trends in assortative mating by sibship position, we seek to shed light on the influence of long-term fertility decline on patterns of assortative mating.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being