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Working paper 609

Loren Brandt, Hongbin Li, Laura Turner, Jiaqi Zou, "Are China's "Leftover Women" really leftover? An investigation of marriage market penalties in modern-day China", 2018-06-21

Abstract: A recent trend in Korea and Japan sees college-graduate women marrying later and at
lower rates than less-educated women. In China, “leftover women” have also became
a top policy concern. This paper finds, however, that China’s higher-educated urban
women attain marital outcomes more like those in the US than in other Asian Tiger
countries: marrying later, but ultimately at comparable rates to less-educated women.
For 1990-2009, we quantify marriage quality using the classic Choo-Siow (2006) estimator
and find large returns to marrying later but minimal direct higher-education
effects. Using the Choo (2015) dynamic estimator, we project future marriage rates to
remain stable among the higher-educated and decline for lower-educated women.

Keywords: Marriage Market Matching, Marriage Penalties, China,

JEL Classification: D13, J11, J12, J13, N35