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What explains attitudes toward prostitution?

Author

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  • Jakobsson, Niklas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Kotsadam, Andreas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Using a larger and more representative sample than previous studies, we assess people’s attitudes toward prostitution in Norway and Sweden. Compared to previous statistical analyses in this field, the present study is the first to use sophisticated statistical methods that can shed further light on attitudes toward different aspects of prostitution while controlling for other confounding factors. The main findings are that men and sexual liberals are more positive toward prostitution, and that conservatives and those who support gender equality are more negative. Holding anti-immigration views is correlated with more positive attitudes toward buying, but not toward selling, sex. Norwegians are more positive than Swedes toward prostitution. It is also found that supporting gender equality has more explanatory power in Sweden than in Norway, and it is argued that this may be due to the more gendered nature of the Swedish debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2009. "What explains attitudes toward prostitution?," Working Papers in Economics 349, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0349
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19728
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins, 2003. "Estimates of a Model of Male Participation in the Market for Female Heterosexual Prostitution Services," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 271-288, November.
    2. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Jana, Smarajit, 2000. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex - the compensating differential for condom use in Calcutta," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2334, The World Bank.
    3. Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2009. "Do attitudes toward gender equality really differ between Norway and Sweden?," Working Papers in Economics 352, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Marina Giusta & Maria Tommaso & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "Who is watching? The market for prostitution services," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 501-516, April.
    6. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    7. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins & Neill Thew, 1999. "Prostitution services: an exploratory empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1523-1529.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2009. "Do attitudes toward gender equality really differ between Norway and Sweden?," Working Papers in Economics 352, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attitudes; norms; prostitution;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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