Marriage Possibility and People’s Productivity in Farm Households

Soomin Lee , University of Minnesota

This paper examines marriage premiums of Korean farmers with a native Korean spouse and farmers with a foreign spouse. Decline of marriage rate and increase in average age of first marriage are major causes of demographic changes in Korea. The issue of increasing unmarried population has been more problematic in rural areas resulting rural exodus of young generation. To remedy this problem, Korean government started a program called ‘finding a spouse for bachelor farmers’ in the early 1990s. Introduction of foreign brides increased the number of marriage in rural areas and local municipalities have been encouraging bachelor farmers to find a spouse outside of countries since then. This paper aims to explain how the changes in marital possibility affect Korean farmers’ per unit productivity to explain the impact of marital status and nationality of a spouse on the individual farmer’s productivity using Korean Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Survey data.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions