Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brides "for sale:" marriage patterns in East Asia

Soohyung Lee and Daiji Kawaguchi have a paper on marriage and matching that looks at who marries whom in East Asia.  As I understand it, they argue that there's a powerful norm there for men to "marry down," (related to having "traditional" expectations of marriage) with the result that highly educated women and poorly educated men have difficulty finding suitable local spouses, and that the lower educated men marry foreign brides from poorer countries.

Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration

Abstract: Every year, a large number of women migrate as brides from developing countries to developed countries in East Asia. This phenomenon virtually did not exist in the early 1990s, but foreign brides currently comprise 4 to 35 percent of newlyweds in these developed Asian countries. This paper argues that two factors account for this rapid increase in “bride importation”: the rapid growth of women's educational attainment and a cultural norm that leads to low net surplus of marriage for educated women. We provide empirical evidence supporting our theoretical model and its implications, using datasets from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

And here's a NY Times story from the point of view of Vietnamese brides married to Korean men: For Some in Vietnam, Prosperity Is a South Korean Son-in-Law

1 comment:

DanImports said...

Great post, I currently work from home selling export goods and due to this I am in contact with a lot of traders from Asia. Most of them told me that arranged marriages usually turn up okay, although I don't really think it is up to it's full potential.