Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Internet's Dirty Secret: Assessing the Impact of Online Intermediaries on the Outbreak of Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Author Info

  • Jason Chan

    (Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences (IOMS), NYU Stern Business School)

  • Anindya Ghose

    (Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences (IOMS), NYU Stern Business School)

Registered author(s):


    We investigate how the expansion of Craigslist into different states over a 11 year period in the United States affected the incidence of HIV. Using a natural experiment setup, we identify the effects of Craigslist's entry on HIV trends by exploiting the variations across states and time. After controlling for extraneous factors, our results show that Craigslist's entry leads to a 19.8 percent increase in HIV cases, which maps out to an average of 158.7 cases for a state in a year. The analyses further suggest that non-market related casual sex serves as the underlying mechanism driving the increase in HIV cases, while paid transactions (e.g., escort services and prostitution) solicited on the site do not influence HIV trends. The increases in HIV cases as a result of Craigslist entry are estimated to impose treatment costs of over $118 million annually on the U.S. healthcare system. Study implications and limitations are discussed.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-07.

    as in new window
    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision: Sep 2012
    Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1207

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research

    Keywords: HIV; Entry; Online Platforms; Public Health;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Trevon D. Logan & Manisha Shah, 2013. "Face Value: Information and Signaling in an Illegal Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 529-564, January.
    2. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
    3. Chris Forman & Anindya Ghose & Avi Goldfarb, 2009. "Competition Between Local and Electronic Markets: How the Benefit of Buying Online Depends on Where You Live," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 47-57, January.
    4. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 2002. "The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 399-432, Autumn.
    5. Lancaster, Tony, 2000. "The incidental parameter problem since 1948," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 391-413, April.
    6. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine E. Tucker, 2011. "Can Health Care Information Technology Save Babies?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(2), pages 289 - 324.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1207. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicholas Economides).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.