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

Listed author(s):
  • Cunningham Scott

    ()

    (Baylor University)

  • Kendall Todd D

    ()

    (Compass Lexecon)

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.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:30
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  1. Della Giusta, Marina & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Strøm, Steinar, 2005. "Who’s watching? The market for prostitution services," Memorandum 27/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Trevon Logan & Manisha Shah, 2009. "Face Value: Information and Signaling in an Illegal Market," NBER Working Papers 14841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
  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, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aral, Sevgi O. & St. Lawrence, Janet S. & Dyatlov, Roman & Kozlov, Andrei, 2005. "Commercial sex work, drug use, and sexually transmitted infections in St. Petersburg, Russia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 2181-2190, May.
  8. Simon, Curtis J., 2001. "The Supply Price Of Labor During The Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(04), pages 877-903, December.
  9. 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, vol. 71(2), pages 585-603, August.
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