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Do laws affect attitudes? An assessment of the Norwegian prostitution law using longitudinal data

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  • Kotsadam, Andreas
  • Jakobsson, Niklas

Abstract

The question of whether laws affect attitudes has inspired scholars across many disciplines, but empirical knowledge is sparse. Using longitudinal survey data from Norway and Sweden, collected before and after the implementation of a Norwegian law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, we assess the short-run effects on attitudes using a difference-in-differences approach. In the general population, the law did not affect moral attitudes toward prostitution. However, in the Norwegian capital, where prostitution was more visible before the reform, the law made people more negative toward buying sex. This supports the claim that proximity and visibility are important factors for the internalization of legal norms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 103-115

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:31:y:2011:i:2:p:103-115

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

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Keywords: Attitudes Norms Law Prostitution;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Laws and attitudes: which comes first?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-08-16 14:52:00
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Cited by:
  1. Francis, Andrew M. & Mialon, Hugo M. & Peng, Handie, 2012. "In sickness and in health: Same-sex marriage laws and sexually transmitted infections," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1329-1341.
  2. Lee, Samuel & Persson, Petra, 2013. "Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution," Working Paper Series 996, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Andreas Kotsadam & Niklas Jakobsson, 2014. "Shame on you, John! Laws, stigmatization, and the demand for sex," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 393-404, June.
  4. Daniel L. Chen & Susan Yeh, 2013. "The Construction of Morals," Working Papers 1042, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.

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