Awards and Juries 2019

Prizewinner 2019: Kim XU

PhD candidate at School of Demography, College of Arts and Social sciences, Australian National University

“Changing patterns and determinants of first marriage over the history of the People’s Republic of China”

Over the history of the People’s Republic of China, marriage ages have increased as a result of state policy intervention and socioeconomic changes, but marriage’s popularity remains undiminished. At the same time, there are growing concerns over forced lifelong singlehood among segments of the population due to sex -ratio imbalance in the marriage market and gender differentiation in mate preferences. Few empirical studies have examined the factors likely influencing the timing and propensity of marriage. This study addresses that research gap. It adopts cure survival analysis to jointly model the determinants of first marriage timing and likelihood. Data from multiple rounds of the Chinese General Social Survey are used to assess changes in marriage over successive birth cohorts. The results suggest that, among most male and female cohorts, a lower level of education is linked with younger ages at marriage but with lower chances of ever marrying. For younger male cohorts, residence in less-developed provinces is found to be associated with earlier marriage entry but reduced marriage likelihood. Among younger female cohorts, living in metropolitan cities is pinpointed as the most important factor in reducing marriage propensity.

International jury

Président : Joseph Larmarange (Ceped/IRD, France)


  • Alexandre Avdeev (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France)
  • Viviana Egidi (Université de Rome La Sapienza, Italie)
  • Jacques Marquet (UCLouvain, Belgique),
  • Anne Solaz (Ined, France)

Non-voting members:

  • Aline Désesquelles (Ined, France)
  • Olivia Samuel (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin, France)


A word from the jury president

Since 2015, the journal Population has awarded a Young Author’s Prize to recognize the work of a young researcher. For the 2019 edition, 14 manuscripts were received, tackling subjects as diverse as infant health and mortality, the formation of interracial couples, international migration, forms of kinship, the implications of demographic ageing, and even the effects of climate change. Resolutely international in scope, the works submitted covered Africa, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

After a preliminary anonymized review of the texts, four manuscripts were shortlisted and each one sent to two external reviewers. The members of the jury read the texts and the reports (all anonymized). The final deliberations took place on 5 February 2019, when this year’s prizewinner was selected. The authors of some of the shortlisted manuscripts were invited to submit a revised version of their manuscript to the journal’s editorial board.

It is with great pleasure that we award the 2019 Young Author’s Prize to Kim Xu for her article entitled ‘Changing Patterns and Determinants of First Marriage over the History of the People’s Republic of China’. Adopting a comparative approach between generations, the winner explores how women and men in China, born between 1920 and 1983, entered into marriage. The originality of the analysis lies in the use of longitudinal cure models to distinguish the effects associated with experiencing the event studied (here, first marriage) and those associated with the timing of this event. As such, the author can, for example, show that although the most educated men and women marry later, they also have a higher probability of getting married.

I hope you will enjoy reading this 2019 Young Author’s prizewinning article and that it will encourage other early-career researchers to enter the competition for the 2020 prize.

Joseph Larmarange