Strategic cross-border marriages: an investigation based on the spousal age gaps of foreign-born wives in the US
石川, 義孝 ,
竹下, 修子 ,
LIAW, Kao-Lee花岡, 和聖
京都大學文學部研究紀要 = Memoirs of the Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University
154 , 2018-03-10 , 京都大學大學院文學研究科・文學部
For a female born in a country with relatively low living standard and unfavorable life-course prospect, a sensible marriage strategy is to exchange her relative youthfulness for the right to live permanently in the United States via the potential husband's U.S. citizenship. The more prevalent is the use of this strategy, the greater is the proportion of foreign-born wives with an unusually large spousal age gap. This strategy may be used in both genuine and sham marriages. Based on the micro data of the Philippine-born, Vietnam-born, and China-born wives in the 2009-2013 American Community Survey, we use a logit model to study how the proportion of the foreign-born wives with an unusually large spousal age gap (defined as husband being 10 or more years older than wife)is affected by five types of citizenship status in a multivariate context:(1)husband being a U.S. citizen by birth;(2) husband being naturalized and wife being not naturalized;(3)both being naturalized, husband before wife;(4)both being naturalized, wife before husband or in the same year; and(5)husband being not naturalized. To reduce the risk of selection bias and to increase the confidence in statistical inference, we use spousal ethnic dissimilarity and wife's educational attainment as control factors. Despite the fact that the histories of immigration from these three countries are very different, it turns out that the three groups of wives share the following three common features:(1)this marriage strategy has been widely used since 1990;(2)its prevalence increased from the 1990s to the period since 2000; and(3)sham marriages appear to be an extensive problem.