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Understanding Human Trafficking Origin: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis

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  • Smriti Rao
  • Christina Presenti

Abstract

Feminist work on global human trafficking has highlighted the conceptual difficulty of differentiating between trafficking and migration. This contribution uses a cross-country United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs dataset on human trafficking from 2006 to empirically evaluate the socioeconomic characteristics of high-trafficking origin countries and compare them with patterns that have emerged in the literature on migration. In particular, the authors ask how and how much per capita income and gender inequality matter in shaping patterns of human trafficking. Ordinal logit regressions corrected for sample selection bias show that trafficking has an inverse U-shaped relationship with income per capita, and, controlling for income per capita, trafficking is more likely in countries with higher shares of female-to-male income. These results suggest strong parallels between patterns of trafficking and migration and lead the authors to believe that trafficking cannot be addressed without addressing the drivers of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Smriti Rao & Christina Presenti, 2012. "Understanding Human Trafficking Origin: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 231-263, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:18:y:2012:i:2:p:231-263
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2012.680978
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13545701.2012.680978
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
    2. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Policies against human trafficking: the role of religion and political institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 353-386, November.
    2. Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2015. "The Economics of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation," Memorandum 07/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Seo-Young Cho, 2015. "Modeling for Determinants of Human Trafficking: An Empirical Analysis," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(1), pages 2-21.

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