Volume 23 - Article 7 | Pages 153–190  

Ethnic differentials in the timing of family formation: A case study of the complex interaction between ethnicity, socioeconomic level, and marriage market pressure

By Heather Booth


Ethnic differentials in the timing of family formation in Fiji cannot be adequately explained by the norms, characteristics, minority group, and interaction hypotheses. The missing dimensions are socioeconomic level within ethnicity and time, including the marriage market effects of fertility transition. A complex interaction of factors involves underlying norms and the opposing effects of modernisation, including the interaction between socioeconomic level and ethnicity, and the changing marriage market pressures determined by the ethnically differentiated fertility decline consistent with the minority group hypothesis. Within each ethnicity, marriage market pressures are concentrated at lower socioeconomic levels, resulting in decreasing trends in age at marriage, and increased socioeconomic differentiation.

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