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Male marriage squeeze in China

YU Xiao;ZHU Yingrun;MEI Li

Chinese Journal of Population Science,No. 02

【Abstract】 Based on China’s 2010 national census data and forecast data, this paper uses the indicator of marriage sex ratio of unmarried population and establishes a decomposition model, measures the intensity of marriage squeeze of unmarried men in first-marriage market, and decomposes effects of the sex structure and age structure of unmarried population on the marriage squeeze. The results show that the marriage sex ratio between 2010 and 2050, based on 35-year-old unmarried women, is between 2.1 and 3.1, which is much higher than the level of 1, and generally shows a weakening trend. Among them, the gender structure of unmarried population increases the marriage squeeze of unmarried men, but this effect shows a weakening trend; the age structure of unmarried population eases the marriage squeeze of unmarried men, but this effect is strengthening. This shows that the implementation of a comprehensive two-child policy is conducive to jointly promoting gender balance in China’s future marriage market from both the age structure and the gender structure. In addition, both the period analysis and the cohort analysis found that the marriage squeeze of unmarried men in China increases rapidly with age; elder unmarried men, especially in rural areas, have a very serious marriage squeeze.

Rural-urban disparity in marriage match trends of spouses aged 18–59 years old since 1975 in China

LIANG Ying;ZHANG Zhihong;GAO Wenli;KAN Wei

Population Journal,Vol 40,No. 02

【Abstract】 This paper aims to examine trends in age difference and educational match of first-married spouses aged 18–59 years old in China from 1975 to 2014, using the data from 2014 Family Dynamics Survey of China organized by National Health and Family Planning Commission of China. The results reveals that the traditional marriage mode of “older husband matching younger wife” is still the main trend in marriage age match of first-married spouses, ranging from “husband one year younger than wife” to “husband four years older than wife,” while the average value of average age difference (absolute value) of first-married spouses is on the rise both in rural and urban areas. And the more educated the first-married spouses are, the more likely they will find their spouses with the same or similar age. In regarding to educational match, educational homogeneity and educational heterogeneity of “higher husband matching lower wife” are still main educational match mode of first-married spouses. Due to influencing factors such as the popularization of education, enrollment expansion of universities, the rising social and economic status of women and the implementation of gender equality, women’s educational level has been continuously improved, which steadily narrows the gap of education between men and women. Thus the educational heterogeneous mode of “higher husband matching lower wife” gradually declines, while the mode of educational homogeneity increases. In other words, first-married spouses’ educational level becomes increasingly similar. The results also indicate the more educated spouses are more likely to marry those with a similar educational level. However, the possibility and preference of women to choose their spouses with a higher educational attainment is getting smaller and smaller. Besides, the access to education is imbalanced in urban and rural areas, and among regions, among which there also exists gender disparity in education. The increase of educational homogeneity and the decrease of educational heterogeneity modes of “higher husband matching lower wife” make it more difficult for the less educated people to realize social mobility through marriage. In particular, rural males with lower educational level may face severe difficulties in choosing a spouse.

The impact of family stress and marital satisfaction on marital violence in migrant workers’ families

YANG Ting;JIN Xiaoyi

Population Journal,Vol 40,No. 01

【Abstract】 Against the background of urbanization, family stress and emotional relationship affect the stability of migrant workers’ marriage and families. Traditional culture rationalizes marital violence in the families. Marital violence, a “crisis” between couples with conflicts, is part of domestic violence. By analyzing the data from a sampling survey on migrant workers in the P district, Shenzhen city in December, 2013, this study found that 33.14% of migrant workers’ families perpetrate psychological violence and 12.23% perpetrate physical violence; psychological violence is more common in migrant workers’ families. Using mlogit regression, the study discovered that job stress has a significantly positive effect on migrant workers’ perpetration of psychological violence. Family care stress has a significantly positive effect on migrant workers’ perpetration of both psychological and physical violence. However, economic stress has no significant effect on migrant workers’ perpetration of marital violence. Marital dissatisfaction has a significantly positive effect on migrant workers’ perpetration of marital violence and affects physical violence more significantly. Therefore, psychological and physical violence are both affected by family stress and marital dissatisfaction. By comparison, psychological violence is more affected by family stress and physical violence by marital dissatisfaction. It can also be found in the context of a high marital satisfaction,the risk of migrant workers’ perpetrating psychological violence may increase with a higher level of family stress. Psychological violence can be hidden and usually brings deep injuries for the victims. The risk of physical violence increases with a high level of family stress and marital dissatisfaction. This harms marital welfare and family unity.

Couples’ joint holdings and corporate risk-taking

XIAO Jinli;PAN Yue;DAI Yiyi

Economic Research Journal,Vol 53,No. 05

【Abstract】 Studies of marriage economics have found that marriage and family characteristics affect the family’s economic development. Building on research in marriage economics, recent studies in finance have begun to explore the relationship between marriage or family issues and corporate financial behavior. Studies have found that the marital status of company executives affects a company’s risk preference (Nicolosi and Yore, 2015; Roussanov and Savor, 2017). Executive teams with couples make longer-term investment decisions for companies than teams without couples (Amore et al., 2017). When the two largest shareholders in a small family firm are husband and wife, the firm will make fewer investments and adopt more conservative financial policies (Belenzon et al., 2017). In a family firm, the entrepreneur’s family members may be involved in the company and may influence the company’s behavior. In particular, a husband and wife team has a strong influence on a company’s behavior (Chua et al., 1999; Poza and Messer, 2001) .However, the degree of participation in the company varies across family firms (Gundry and Welsch, 1994) .There is also often a significant difference in the risk preferences of a husband and wife. Therefore, the participation of a husband and wife team in a family firm may affect risk decision-making. This study integrates the two independent research perspectives of marriage and gender which previous studies have shown can influence corporate financial behavior. The sample consists of Shanghai-Shenzhen A-share listed family firms from the 2007 to 2015 period. The study examines the effect of joint shareholding by couples in listed family firms on the companies’ risk taking during the matrimonial period. The study has three main findings. First, compared to family firms that are individually held by a husband or wife, listed family firms that are jointly held by a couple have a significantly lower level of risk taking, that is, the companies’ have lower debt ratios and higher cashholdings. These results are robust to using instrumental variables that resolve possible endogeneity problems and alternate metrics. Second, this study finds that in a listed family firm, if the actual controller’s wife is a shareholder, this significantly increases the probability of her having a position in the firm, indicating that participation in management is an important path through which the actual controller’s wife influences the company’s risk preference. Joint ownership of shares between a husband and wife significantly increases the probability of the company hiring female executives, which also reduces the company’s risk-taking level to some extent. Furthermore, husbands who share company shares with their wives have fewer masculist tendencies. Their more respectful attitude towards women and their relatively mild personality traits may also make the company’s risk decisions more conservative and cautious. Finally, a further study has found that if a wife has more relatives in the company than the husband, the wife has more say in corporate decision-making. If the actual controller’s wife has higher academic qualifications than her husband, this significantly strengthens her influence on the company’s decision-making. In addition, the higher the divorce rate in the region, the worse the marriage and family atmosphere may be. This weakens the level of risk taking in listed family firms where the couple jointly holds shares. The main contributions of this study are as follows. Building on previous studies of marriage economics, this study explores the influence of husbands’ and wives’ different risk preferences on joint decision-making, and extends the research on family financial decision-making to listed family companies controlled by couples. It broadens the perspective of the entrepreneurial decision-making model. This study is important given women’s increasing participation in family firms’ operations in China, and examines how the actual controller’s wife’s attitude to risk affects the decision-making of a listed family firm. The findings enrich and supplement previous research on family firms.

Gender identity, marriage and labor behavior within families

XU Ji;HUANG Yana

Economic Research Journal,Vol 53,No. 04

【Abstract】 The gender identity norm that the husband should earn more than the wife influences and distorts marriage and labor behavior within households. Using the census data of 2005 and those of China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) from 2010 to 2014, we found that gender identity is prevalent in China. The specific conclusions we reached are as follows. First, gender identity leads to decrease in marriage rates and increase in first marriage age. Second, gender identity distorts married women’s labor behavior, including making them exit the labor market or take up jobs that pay less than their poetical wages; and even makes them spend more time on housework to compensate for the reversal of identity role. Third, the probability of divorce of the couple who go against the gender identity norm is proportional to the wife’s relative income. Fourth, women of rural residence, lower education level, and longer marriage duration, and with any child suffer greater from gender identity. This study discloses gender identity in China, promotes the comparison of the relevant studies in different countries, and helps the formulation of policies aiming at gender equality.

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