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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Japan Seminar: Specialization and Happiness in Marriage: A U.S.- Japan Comparison

Fri, October 7, 2011 • 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM • Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118


We examine the relationship between specialization and happiness in marriage in the U.S. and Japan. Our findings, based on the General Social Surveys in the U.S. and Japan, indicate both similarities and differences in the determinants of marital happiness in the two countries. In the U.S., the findings are mixed. Women's reported marital happiness in the U.S. is more likely to follow the predictions of the bargaining model where their happiness is determined by their own income. Men's marital happiness in the U.S. follows the predictions of the specialization model; they are happier if their wives are not working or, alternatively, if they are financially dependent on their wives. In Japan, we find support for the specialization model, particularly in the case of women; they are happier if they are specialized in the household and they have a higher household income. Our research highlights how marital quality is affected by the institutional context and the normative environment.

Dr. Hiroshi Ono is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University. His areas of interest are Economic Sociology, Stratification and Inequality, Work and Labor Markets, and International Business.

Please download the Center for East Asian Studies fall seminar series PDF to view upcoming events.

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