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Do Laws Affect Attitudes? - An assessment of the Norwegian prostitution law using longitudinal data

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

The question of whether laws affect attitudes has inspired scholars across many disciplines, but empirical knowledge is sparse. Using longitudinal survey data from Norway and Sweden, collected before and after the implementation of a Norwegian law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, we assess the short-run effects on attitudes using a difference-in-differences approach. In the general population, the law did not affect moral attitudes toward prostitution. However, in the Norwegian capital, where prostitution was more visible before the reform, the law made people more negative toward buying sex. This supports the claim that proximity and visibility are important factors for the internalization of legal norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2010. "Do Laws Affect Attitudes? - An assessment of the Norwegian prostitution law using longitudinal data," Working Papers in Economics 457, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0457
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/22823
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Laws and attitudes: which comes first?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-08-16 19:52:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Daniel L. & Yeh, Susan, 2014. "The construction of morals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 84-105.
    2. 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.
    3. G. Immordino & F. Russo, 2015. "Laws and stigma: the case of prostitution," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 209-223, October.
    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. Perrotta Berlin, Maria & Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Immordino, Giovanni & F. Russo, Francesco, 2019. "Prostitution and Violence: Evidence from Sweden," SITE Working Paper Series 52, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 25 Jun 2020.
    6. Charles Kenny, Dev Patel, 2017. "Gender Laws, Values, and Outcomes: Evidence from the World Values Survey - Working Paper 452," Working Papers 452, Center for Global Development.
    7. Dahl, Gordon B. & Kotsadam, Andreas & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams," Working Paper Series 5/2018, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    8. Andreas Kotsadam & Niklas Jakobsson, 2014. "Shame on you, John! Laws, stigmatization, and the demand for sex," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 393-404, June.
    9. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    10. Francis, Andrew M. & Mialon, Hugo M. & Peng, Handie, 2012. "In sickness and in health: Same-sex marriage laws and sexually transmitted infections," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1329-1341.
    11. Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2015. "The Economics of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation," Memorandum 07/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    12. Crettez, Bertrand & Deffains, Bruno & Musy, Olivier, 2014. "Legal convergence and endogenous preferences," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 20-27.

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    Keywords

    attitudes; norms; law; prostitution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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