Coresidence with Parents, the “Comforts of Home,” and the Transition to Marriage among Japanese Women

Raymo, James, and Hiromi Ono
Working paper no. 2004-16


Unlike their counterparts in most industrialized societies, Japanese women are spending an increasingly longer proportion of their young adult years unmarried and living with parents. In this paper, we develop hypotheses linking the “comforts of home” to later marriage in Japan. To evaluate these hypotheses, we use six waves of data from a panel survey of young women to estimate hazard models for the transition from the parental home to first marriage. Results suggest that freedom from domestic responsibilities is associated with later marriage among coresident women who face the most difficulty in balancing family and career whereas material comforts of the parental home are associated with later marriage among women whose potential husbands have the most tenuous economic prospects.