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What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US

  • Della Giusta, Marina


    (University of Reading Business School)

  • Di Tommaso, Maria Laura

    (University of Turin, Department of Economics "S. Cognetti de Martiis")

  • Shima, Isilda

    (University of Turin, Department of Economics "S. Cognetti de Martiis")

  • Strøm, Steinar


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

An econometric model that explores the effect of personal characteristics and attitudes of clients on their demand for prostitution is estimated on data from a survey of clients of street sex workers in the US. The results reveal that clients of street sex workers in our sample have two diametrically opposite profiles: one for clients who declared never to have been with a sex worker or to have been only once, whom we label “experimenters”, and one for the more experienced ones that we name “regulars”. The experimenters correspond to a more machist type, with negative views of women, and of sex workers (who are believed to be different from other women but condemned at the same time), and viewing prostitution as a complement to stable relationships. The regulars have more liberal view of women, and of sex workers, the more they dislike control the more they demand, they like variety. Their demand also increases with age and with having a permanent job, which may indicate a positive income effect. These appear to be men who are happy to satisfy their sexual wants through sex workers, which they prefer to relationships. The users of condoms seem to fit the profile of the regulars, whereas the non-users fit that of the experimenters.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 10/2006.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2006_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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  1. Cameron, S. & Collins, A., 2001. "Estimates of a Model of Male Participation in the Market for Female Heterosexual Prostitution Services," Papers 139, Portsmouth University - Department of Economics.
  2. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins & Neill Thew, 1999. "Prostitution services: an exploratory empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1523-1529.
  3. Nussbaum, Martha C, 1998. ""Whether from Reason or Prejudice": Taking Money for Bodily Services," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 693-724, June.
  4. Samuel Cameron, 2002. "The Economics of Sin," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2582, April.
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