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Premium sex: Factors influencing the negotiated price of unprotected sex by female sex workers in Mexico



This paper examines economic, sociocultural, and behavioral risk factors that influence the compensating price difference (premium paid) between sex with and without a condom for female sex workers (FSWs) in U.S.-Mexico border cities. Field data collected in Ciudad Juarez on the price of sex with and without a condom for the same FSW respondent allowed calculation of the price premium for unprotected sex based on these paired prices, holding unobservable characteristics constant. A Tobit model was used to identify the factors determining the price premium. Key predictors of a larger price premium for sex without a condom included: length of time as a FSW; number of male clients; and participation in HIV education. Key predictors of a decrease in the price premium for unprotected sex included: age; a bad financial situation; frequent alcohol consumption before or during sex; and frequent drug use before or during sex.

Suggested Citation

  • Adela de la Torre & Arthur Havenner & Katherine Adams & Justin Ng, 2010. "Premium sex: Factors influencing the negotiated price of unprotected sex by female sex workers in Mexico," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 13, pages 67-90, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:13:y:2010:n:1:p:67-90

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chang, Hung-Hao & Weng, Yungho, 2012. "What is more important for prostitute price? Physical appearance or risky sex behavior?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 480-483.
    2. Raj Arunachalam & Manisha Shah, 2013. "Compensated for Life: Sex Work and Disease Risk," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 345-369.
    3. Peter Egger & Andreas Lindenblatt, 2015. "Endogenous risk-taking and physical appearance of sex workers," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(9), pages 941-949, December.
    4. Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo & Enrique Fernández-Macías & José-Ignacio Antón & Fernando Esteve, 2011. "Measuring More than Money," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14072.
    5. Serieux, John E. & Munthali, Spy & Sepehri, Ardeshir & White, Robert, 2012. "The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on HIV and AIDS Programs in a High Prevalence Country: The Case of Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 501-515.

    More about this item


    prostitution; sex work; HIV/STI; sex price premiums; border health;

    JEL classification:

    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations


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