「Educational Association in Mate Selection in Japan: Evidence from the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey」
This study is the first systematic attempt to document the difference in the pattern of educational association between unmarried and married couples in Japan. The results from the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey show that educational homogamy at the top and the bottom of the educational hierarchy characterizes the educational association among both unmarried and married partners. Among married couples, there is a stronger degree of educational homogamy for couples with B.A. degrees and a propensity for women with junior college educations to marry up with men with B.A. degrees.
We also disaggretaed unmarried couples by their partnership types into those whose relationship continued and those whose relationship ended. The results show the pattern of educational association was the same among both types of couples. However, the strength of homogamy among those with a university education was much stronger among couples whose relationship continued than those whose relationship ended. This suggests that unmarried couples are more likely to continue their partnership when the degree of educational homogamy is strong.
Our results gives an overall picture of the mate selection process in Japan. The resemblance of couple’s education tends to increase as the couples go through the pathway from courtship to marriage. Education, as an attribute that people wish to match on marriage, is probably taken more seriously in deciding on a marriage partner than in choosing a courtship partner.