Unequal Pathways to Adulthood in China

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Qianhan LIN, Independent researcher, China
Andrea CANALES, Catholic University of Chile, Chile
Rapid economic and social changes coupled with constantly changing policies have had impacts on the way young adults structure their pathways to adulthood in China. In contrast to previous studies on demographic markers of Chinese young adults where the focus is limited to specific life events, this paper applies a holistic method to describe and explore transition trajectories. This requires that we pay attention not only to the timing of events, but also to the relative duration and sequence of transition states. Drawing on the detailed retrospective information on individuals' educational, occupational, cohabitation and marital histories collected by the 2010 China Family Panel Studies, this paper (1) builds a typology of transition pathways using the optimal matching technique and a cluster algorithm, and (2) investigates the ways in which historical and structural factors influence these pathways by estimating the effects of cohorts, gender, and household registration status (hukou status - rural vs. urban status) on pathway membership. We conclude that the holistic approach adopted in this study proved to be a useful tool to show a distinctive typology of demographic transition trajectories in China; and to understand how the transition process varies between cohorts and how the interaction between gender and hukou status matters in predicting the risk of belonging to a pathway membership.