Colloquium in Mar. 2019

Park, Hyunjoon (Professor, Dept. of Sociology at Univ. of Pennsylvania, U.S.)

Based on the data from 1990 and 2010 Korean Census, this study analyzes how the decline in marriage rates during the recent 20 years in Korea is associated with the convergence in women and men’s educational attainment and the growth in men’s international marriages, through the counterfactual approach. According to the analysis, the convergence in educational attainment between genders gave significant influence on the decline in marriage rates for the women who attended junior college, and for the men who did only or did not attend high school. It is also found out that the growth in international marriages played a substantial role of offsetting this marriage decline among the low educated men. Based on this analysis, this study points out, recent Korean society’s decline in marriage rates can be accounted for by structural changes such as educational expansion, as well as changes in the desirability of marriage such as changing attitudes toward marriage or emerging alternative lifestyles.

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