A Theory of Prostitution
Prostitution is low-skill, labor intensive, female, and well paid. This paper proposes a marriage market explanation to this puzzle. If a prostitute compromises her marriage market prospects, she will have to be compensated for forgone marriage market opportunities. We discuss the link between poverty and prostitution and show that prostitution may decrease with male income if wives and prostitutes are drawn from the same pool of women. We point to the role of male sex ratios, and males in transit, in sustaining high levels of prostitution, and we discuss possible reasons for its low reputation and implications for marriage patterns.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Korn, Evelyn, 2000. "On the Formation of Family Structures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 357-372, December.
- Peracca, Sara & Knodel, John & Saengtienchai, Chanpen, 1998. "Can prostitutes marry? Thai attitudes toward female sex workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 255-267, July.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1996.
"Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?,"
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American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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