Residential Concentration and Marital Behaviors of Muslim Chinese
This paper examines how the marital behaviors of Hui Muslims respond to varying conditions of local ethnic marriage markets. Specifically, we explore marriage patterns indicating adherence to two Islamic norms: universal marriage and endogamy. We measure marriage market conditions by local concentrations of Hui and we estimate discrete-time hazard models of marital outcomes using the China 2005 1% inter-census survey. Results show that in places with higher Hui concentrations, Hui tend to have higher marriage rates, to marry earlier, and to marry more endogamously. Conditional on being married, the logged odds of exogamy over endogamy are significantly lower in places with higher Hui concentrations; nevertheless, if we treat exogamy as an alternative to being single, the coefficient of the logged odds of exogamy over singleness is significantly negative only for women. This suggests coexistence and competition between the two Islamic norms. Moreover, women have consistently higher marriage rates than do men, regardless of Hui concentration. This indicates that women are universally more strictly constrained by the norm of universal marriage than are men. However, men show more variation in marriage rates, indicating that they are more responsive to changes in Hui concentrations. Men and women are equally restricted by the norm of endogamy.
Country of focus: China.