IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sex Work Regulation and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Tijuana, Mexico


  • Troy Quast
  • Fidel Gonzalez


While reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections is a common argument for regulating sex work, relatively little empirical evidence is available regarding the effectiveness of these policies. We investigate the effects of highly publicized sex work regulations introduced in 2005 in Tijuana, Mexico on the incidence of trichomoniasis. State‐level, annual data for the 1995–2012 period are employed that include the incidence rates of trichomoniasis by age group and predictor variables. We find that the regulations led to a decrease in the incidence rate of trichomoniasis. Specifically, while our estimates are somewhat noisy, the all‐ages incidence rate in the 2005–2012 period is roughly 37% lower than what is predicted by our synthetic control estimates and corresponds to approximately 800 fewer reported cases of trichomoniasis per year. We find that the decreases are especially pronounced for 15–24 and 25–44 age cohorts. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Troy Quast & Fidel Gonzalez, 2017. "Sex Work Regulation and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Tijuana, Mexico," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 656-670, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:656-670
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3339

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott Cunningham & Manisha Shah, 2018. "Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 85(3), pages 1683-1715.
    2. Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Isilda Shima & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(18), pages 2261-2277.
    3. 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.
    4. Immordino, G. & Russo, F.F., 2015. "Regulating prostitution: A health risk approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 14-31.
    5. Bauhoff, Sebastian, 2014. "The effect of school district nutrition policies on dietary intake and overweight: A synthetic control approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 45-55.
    6. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
    7. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
    8. Paul J. Gertler & Manisha Shah, 2011. "Sex Work and Infection: What's Law Enforcement Got to Do with It?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 811-840.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ermanno Affuso & Khandokar M. Istiak & Alex Sharland, 2022. "Sovereign wealth funds and economic growth," Journal of Asset Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(3), pages 201-214, May.
    2. Seiro Ito & Aurélia Lépine & Carole Treibich, 2018. "The effect of sex work regulation on health and well‐being of sex workers: Evidence from Senegal," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(11), pages 1627-1652, November.
    3. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Brendan Saloner, 2018. "Substance Use Treatment Provider Behavior and Healthcare Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 76-101, January.
    4. David Powell, 2016. "Synthetic Control Estimation Beyond Case Studies Does the Minimum Wage Reduce Employment?," Working Papers WR-1142, RAND Corporation.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wilson Nicholas, 2019. "The World’s Oldest Profession? Employment-Age Profiles from the Transactional Sex Market," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, June.
    2. Alexander Muravyev & Oleksandr Talavera, 2018. "Unsafe Sex in the City: Risk Pricing in the London Area," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(5), pages 528-549, November.
    3. He, Guojun & Peng, Wenwei, 2022. "Guns and roses: Police complicity in organized prostitution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    4. Perrotta Berlin, Maria & Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Immordino, Giovanni & F. Russo, Francesco, 2019. "Retraction of: "Prostitution and Violence: Evidence from Sweden"," SITE Working Paper Series 52, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 27 Jun 2023.
    5. Peter Backus & Thien Nguyen, 2021. "The Effect of the Sex Buyer Law on the Market for Sex, Sexual Health and Sexual Violence," Economics Discussion Paper Series 2106, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Sonnabend, Hendrik & Stadtmann, Georg, 2018. "Good intentions and unintended evil? Adverse effects of criminalizing clients in paid sex markets with voluntary and involuntary prostitution," Discussion Papers 400, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    7. Immordino, G. & Russo, F.F., 2015. "Regulating prostitution: A health risk approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 14-31.
    8. Andreas Lindenblatt & Peter Egger, 2017. "The long shadow of the Iron Curtain for female sex workers in German cities: Border effects and regional differences," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(3), pages 649-677, February.
    9. Bruno Ferman & Cristine Pinto & Vitor Possebom, 2020. "Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 510-532, March.
    10. Della Giusta, Marina & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Jewell, Sarah & Bettio, Francesca, 2019. "Quashing Demand Criminalizing Clients? Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 12405, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Rocío Albert & Fernando Gómez & Yanna Gutierrez Franco, 2007. "Regulating Prostitution: A Comparative Law and Economics Approach," Working Papers 2007-30, FEDEA.
    12. Cunningham, Scott & DeAngelo, Gregory & Smith, Brock, 2020. "Fracking and risky sexual activity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    13. Perrotta Berlin, Maria & Latour, Chiara & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2023. "International Spillovers from Prostitution Regulation: The "Nordic Model" and Sex Tourism," SITE Working Paper Series 63, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 25 Sep 2023.
    14. Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Sarah Jewell & Francesca Bettio, 2021. "Quashing demand or changing clients? Evidence of criminalization of sex work in the United Kingdom," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(2), pages 527-544, October.
    15. Shoji, Masahiro & Tsubota, Kenmei, 2022. "Sexual exploitation of trafficked children: Survey evidence from child sex workers in Bangladesh," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 101-117.
    16. Masahiro Shoji & Kenmei Tsubota, 2018. "Sexual Exploitation of Trafficked Children: Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 175, JICA Research Institute.
    17. 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.
    18. Samuel Lee & Petra Persson, 2012. "Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution," Working Papers 12-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    19. Hiroyuki Yamada & Yuki Kanayama & Kanako Yoshikawa & Kyaw Wai Aung, 2020. "Risk attitude, risky behavior, and price determination in the sex market: A case study of Yangon, Myanmar," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2020-013, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    20. Cunningham, Scott & Kendall, Todd D., 2011. "Prostitution 2.0: The changing face of sex work," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 273-287, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:656-670. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.