Lifecourse and Marriage Timing in Indonesia

Aparna Sundaram, Education Statistics Services Institute and University of Maryland

Past research on Asian marriage timing found the modernization framework insufficient for understanding the processes of marriage and non-marriage. Using insights provided by Western research on marriage timing, we examine marriage and non-marriage for Indonesia. We find that the correlates of industrialization – education and work – have counter-intuitive associations with marriage. While level of education doesn't delay marriage, school enrollment keeps people away from it. Work increases the odds of marriage while earnings from work have no effect. We argue that the processes of marriage and non-marriage are best understood using a life course perspective: events such as marriage are a part of a person’s life course that follow a normative sequence. People get married when they are considered ready for it. When in school they are viewed as minors unsuited to raising a family whereas working people are viewed as adults able to take on the responsibilities of marriage.

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Presented in Session 120: The Marriage Revolution in Asia