Assortative Mating Patterns in the Developing World

Robert McCaa, Albert Esteve Pals

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Assortative mating patterns have been little investigated in the developing world.Our paper examines the effect of changes in age at marriage and increasing schooling onthe prevalence and conditions of unions in various contexts of the developing world.More specifically, we refer to the effects on assortative mating patterns with regard toeducation. We use census microdata for several countries available from the IPUMSInternationalwebsite. The selected countries are representative of various contexts of thedeveloping world: Brazil 1991, 2000; China 1982, 1990; Iraq 1997; Kenya 1989, 1999;Mexico 1990, 2000; Philippines 1990, 2000; South Africa 1996, 2001; India 1993, 1999(not presently integrated into IPUMS database). Results show some of the possibilitiesfor comparative research of marriage patterns in time and space. We see that significantchanges are underway as union formation, particularly for females, is postponed to themid-twenties and beyond. At the same time, the proportions of never-marrying (orforming a union) increase. Educational attainment is an important factor in both thesedevelopments.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

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