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Associate Professor of Sociology
Kristen Harknett is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Research Associate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include economic influences on marriage, cohabitation, and childbearing; the causes and consequences of lacking material and emotional support from friends and family; and the influence of sex ratio imbalances and other aspects of social context on romantic relationships and childbearing. Some of her current research projects include
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  • Publication
    Mate Availability and Unmarried Parent Relationships
    (2008-06-23) Harknett, Kristen
    Theoretically, a shortage of males in a local marriage market may influence the formation, quality, and trajectory of unmarried parent relationships. To test these hypotheses, I combine city-level sex ratio data from the U.S. Census with microdata on unmarried couples who recently had a child from the Fragile Families study. A shortage of men in a marriage market is associated with lower relationship quality for unmarried parents. Male shortages are associated with lower rates of marriage following a nonmarital birth, and this is in part because of the mediating influence of relationship quality. A shortage of men is not significantly related to the economic quality of male, nonmarital childbearing partners.