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Men in Transit and Prostitution: Using Political Conventions as a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Cunningham Scott

    () (Baylor University)

  • Kendall Todd D

    () (Compass Lexecon)

Abstract

Approximately 100,000 visitors came to Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Economic theory suggests that men in transit can shift demand for commercial sex work. We estimate the responsiveness of labor supply to these two conventions, focusing on a previously neglected but increasingly important segment of the prostitution market: indoor sex workers who advertise on the Internet. Using a differences-in-differences estimator of prostitution advertisements posted on a major classified ads website, we find that the conventions caused a 29-44 percent increase in advertisements in Minneapolis and a 47-77 percent increase in Denver. Given the key role prostitution plays in the transmission of STIs, these results imply that focusing public health resources on men in transit may be beneficial.

Suggested Citation

  • Cunningham Scott & Kendall Todd D, 2011. "Men in Transit and Prostitution: Using Political Conventions as a Natural Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marina Giusta & Maria Tommaso & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "Who is watching? The market for prostitution services," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 501-516, April.
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    7. Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Stefano M. Bertozzi, 2005. "Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Bettio & Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Sarah Jewell, 2016. "Stigmatising Prostitution: Some Evidence from the UK," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2016-13, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Della Giusta, marina & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Jewell, Sarah L., 2014. "Stigma and Risky Behaviors among Clients of Prostitutes," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201419, University of Turin.
    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. Wilson, Nicholas, 2017. "The World’s Oldest Profession? Employment-Age Profiles from the Transactional Sex Market," GLO Discussion Paper Series 77, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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