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Crazy Brideprice: Does rural-urban migration matter? Rural men’s marriage expense in three countries of China
WhenThursday, Oct 25, 2018, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus roomRoom 317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsChina Studies Program 

Xiaoyi Jin
Institute for population and Development Studies,
Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Marriage costs for rural men in China are high and rising, at least in part a consequence of male marriage squeeze driven by gender imbalance since 1980. Meanwhile, labor migration from rural to urban areas and rapid urbanization tends to drive costs higher. Central and western China are major sending areas of migration where the male marriage squeeze is more severe than that in eastern China. Using survey data collected in three counties in Henan and Shaanxi Provinces, this study examines the effects of migration on marriage costs of rural men in central and western China. The results show that: (1) Marriage costs of rural men in central and western China have risen continuously for 30 years, at a higher rate than the per capita net income of  local rural residents; (2) Marriage costs of rural men is significantly higher for those who migrated before marriage than for those without pre-marital migration experience; (3) Early marriage, late first marriage, higher education levels, and higher occupational status are significantly associated with high marriage cost; (4) Fathers’ occupational class, indicative of a man’s family resources, enhances marital “purchasing power”; (5) Marriage costs are higher for rural men born after 1980, and for those in impoverished areas, who face more serious male marriage squeeze in the context of gender imbalance.

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