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Risk-coping through sexual networks : evidence from client transfers in Kenya

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  • Robinson, Jonathan
  • Yeh, Ethan

Abstract

Why do women engage in transactional sex? While much of the explanation is that sex-for-money pays more than other jobs, this paper uses a unique panel dataset constructed from 192 self-reported diaries of sex workers in Western Kenya to show that women who supply transactional sex develop relationships with regular clients, and that these clients send transfers in response to negative income shocks. Regular clients are the primary source of inter-person insurance that women receive, and women report in a separate survey that client transfers are an important reason that they participate in the market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5582.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5582

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Keywords: Population Policies; Gender and Law; Adolescent Health; Gender and Health; Population&Development;

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  1. Robinson, Jonathan & Yeh, Ethan, 2008. "Transactional Sex as a Response to Risk in Western Keny," MPRA Paper 7350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Robinson, Jonathan & Dupas, Pascaline, 2009. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt34w0w53t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Anne Case & Alicia Menendez, 2009. "Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High Priced Funerals in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 14998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Raj Arunachalam & Manisha Shah, 2008. "Prostitutes and Brides?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 516-22, May.
  5. Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Stefano M. Bertozzi, 2005. "Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
  6. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Lokshin, Michael & Jana, Smarajit, 2003. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex: the compensating differential for condom use among Calcutta prostitutes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 585-603, August.
  7. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Burke, Marshall & Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly, 2011. "Income shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 1146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Lee, Samuel & Persson, Petra, 2013. "Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 996, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. de Walque, Damien & Dow, William H. & Gong, Erick, 2014. "Coping with risk : the effects of shocks on reproductive health and transactional sex in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6751, The World Bank.
  4. Dupas, Pascaline & Robinson, Jonathan, 2012. "The (hidden) costs of political instability: Evidence from Kenya's 2007 election crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 314-329.

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