Studies have shown that Confucian societies exhibit the highest incidences of educational homogamy compared with societies in which other religions such as Protestantism and Catholicism are predominant influences. Extending previous research, we aim to elucidate concrete educational homogamy patterns and trends by focusing specifically on two Confucian societies: South Korea (hereafter Korea) and Japan. Based on the 2000 Korean Census and the 2004 Japanese Family Research Survey, we observed that the level of homogamy was higher for Korea. We also found that women tended to marry men with higher educational attainment than themselves. This variety of gender asymmetric marriage was stronger for Korean couples compared with Japanese couples. Regarding trends for the four birth cohorts (1930s-1970s), no systematic trend was observed. We conclude that educational assortative marriage patterns are similar in Korea and Japan, but that the extent of homogamy and hypergamy are different. We suggest that differences in educational structures and partner preferences may lead to the variations observed in these two neighboring societies.
- Educational assortative marriage
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