Age schedule models of first marriage and their applications: Theoretical and empirical refinements of the Coale -McNeil nuptiality model

Ryuichi Kaneko, University of Pennsylvania


The aim of the present thesis is to develop and apply demographic models of first marriage processes. Our models are primarily based on modification and refinement of the Coale-McNeil (CM) model. We apply these new models for reconstruction of the historical development of marriage behavior in Japan in terms of lifetime measures of first marriage for female birth cohorts. We begin by studying the theoretical aspects of the CM model. We observe that the CM distribution is identical to the generalized log gamma (GLG) distribution with a different parameter space. This new identity allows various extended analyses: formalization of country-specific standard schedule development, analysis of covariate effects on marriage timing, and application of competing risk framework for different types of marriages. The use of a multistage framework as a behavioral explanatory model is also examined. Most of these theoretical features of the model are equally applicable to studying fertility schedules by birth order. Next, we attempt an empirical adjustment of the model so as to enhance its applicability for prediction of first marriage trajectory for cohorts that have yet to complete the process. We estimate trends of the lifetime measures over Japanese female cohorts born in 1935-1970. The measures include timing indices (the mean, mode, two kinds of median, and standard deviation of age at first marriage), and eventual occurrence levels (proportion ever married and never married at age 50). The trends indicate some interesting changing patterns in first marriage behavior relevant to the recent unprecedented nuptiality and fertility decline. The change was initiated with delaying marriage by the cohort born in 1952, followed by diffusion of never-marrying in cohorts born after 1959. Then there is an emerging new phase in which the timing shift of marriage is gradually fading in cohorts born after 1965. Causes and implications of these changes as well as future prospects are briefly discussed. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Demography

Recommended Citation

Ryuichi Kaneko, "Age schedule models of first marriage and their applications: Theoretical and empirical refinements of the Coale -McNeil nuptiality model" (January 1, 2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI3292038.