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Prostitution and Violence: Evidence from Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Perrotta Berlin, Maria

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

  • Immordino, Giovanni

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

  • F. Russo, Francesco

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the “Nordic Model” of prostitution legislation adopted in Sweden in 1999, according to which buyers only are prosecuted. We focus on various measures of violence, distinguishing between known and unknown perpetrator, indoor and outdoor crimes, and on health outcomes such as hospitalizations. This allows us to assess whether violence occurs within the prostitution market, or outside of it, namely as domestic violence. The empirical analysis shows an increase in violence as a consequence of the criminalization of buyers, but mostly ascribable to domestic violence rather than violence towards sex workers. We propose a model that rationalizes our conclusions on the source of the increase in violence and to simulate the effects of other policies.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0052
    as

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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. 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.
    3. Scott Cunningham & Manisha Shah, 2018. "Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 1683-1715.
    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. Immordino, G. & Russo, F.F., 2015. "Regulating prostitution: A health risk approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 14-31.
    6. Kotsadam, Andreas & Jakobsson, Niklas, 2011. "Do laws affect attitudes? An assessment of the Norwegian prostitution law using longitudinal data," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 103-115, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Samuel Cameron, 2002. "The Economics of Sin," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2582.
    9. Paul Bisschop & Stephen Kastoryano & Bas van der Klaauw, 2017. "Street Prostitution Zones and Crime," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 28-63, November.
    10. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Lokshin, Michael & Jana, Smarajit, 2003. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex: the compensating differential for condom use among Calcutta prostitutes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 585-603, August.
    11. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins & Neill Thew, 1999. "Prostitution services: an exploratory empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1523-1529.
    12. Niklas Jakobsson & Andreas Kotsadam, 2013. "The law and economics of international sex slavery: prostitution laws and trafficking for sexual exploitation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 87-107, February.
    13. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
    14. Niklas Jakobsson & Andreas Kotsadam, 2011. "Gender Equity and Prostitution: An Investigation of Attitudes in Norway and Sweden," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 31-58, January.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prostitution; Regulation; Prohibition; Laissez-faire; Violence;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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