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Mate Availability and Unmarried Parent Relationships
Demography (2008)
  • Kristen Harknett, University of Pennsylvania

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.

Publication Date
August, 2008
Citation Information
Kristen Harknett. "Mate Availability and Unmarried Parent Relationships" Demography (2008)
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