Understanding Hypergamous Marriages of Chinese
Received: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published online: 25 July 2016
Ó Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract In China, hypergamy is a socially desirable marriage but an understudied
topic. Less has been written on how personal traits and structural factors are
intertwined to shape such marriage. Using national-survey data and employing a
binary endogenous regressor probit model, this paper investigates three forms of
hypergamous marriages: women marrying men from more prosperous families,
women marrying men who are more economically established, and women mar-
rying men with an urban hukou. We assess the interaction of ascribed and achieved
personal traits with institutional factors in explaining these upward marriages.
Particular attention is paid to the role of hukou status in the making of hypergamy.
Our results suggest that most of rural women have to stick to endogamy within their
socioeconomic category. Ascribed and achieved traits work on marital outcomes in
different ways in the changing socioeconomic contexts, mediated by the endo-
geneity of hukou status conversion. The likelihood of hypergamous marriages of
Chinese women is largely constrained by the role of hukou status.
Keywords Hypergamy Á Hukou status Á Endogeneity Á Chinese rural women
& Li Zhang
School of Statistics, Xi’an University of Finance and Economics, No. 2, Weichang South Road,
Chang’an District, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710100, People’s Republic of China
School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road,
Shanghai 200433, People’s Republic of China
Popul Res Policy Rev (2016) 35:877–898