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Educational expansion and marriage change in Thailand

Premchand Dommaraju, Nanyang Technological University
Shawn Wong, Nanyang Technological University

This study investigates the effect of educational expansion on convergence, divergence, and stability of marriage patterns in an Asian context. With rapid educational expansion, gender egalitarian structures, historically low rates of early marriage and acceptance of non-marriage, Thailand provides a unique context to examine the relationship between educational expansion and marriage. The data from three rounds of nationally representative Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys were analysed. Thai women delayed entering marriage during the period of educational expansion and this was primarily driven by compositional factors. Education had a negative effect on marriage entry, but the magnitude of the effect changed over time. For the lowest two educational groups there has been a convergence in marriage trends. However, for women with higher education marriage patterns diverged from the other educational groups. Though timing of marriage changed, proportion of higher educated women marrying has remained remarkably stable.

Keywords: Family demography, Gender

See paper.

  Presented in Session 60. Patterns of Union Formation Around the World