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The Economics of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation

Author

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  • Jakobsson, Niklas

    () (Norwegian Social Research and Karlstad University,)

  • Kotsadam, Andreas

    () (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

International human trafficking of women for commercial sexual exploitation (henceforth trafficking) is an economic activity in which organizations try to make profits. Trafficking has been identified as a form of modern-day slavery and is a worldwide problem which has grown rapidly in the last decades. Despite this, the economics literature on trafficking is small, which is somewhat surprising given that the economics of immigration as well as the economics of crime are both large areas of research. We review the existing economics literature on trafficking with a particular focus on the gaps in this literature. We also describe the datasets that have been and can be used in studying trafficking and we point to future areas of research. We believe that economists have a lot to contribute to the knowledge of the determinants of trafficking and, as more and improved data becomes readily available, the possibilities for credible quantitative research in this area will grow.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2015. "The Economics of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation," Memorandum 07/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2015_007
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    File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2015/memo-07-2015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marina Della Giusta, 2010. "Simulating the impact of regulation changes on the market for prostitution services," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-14, February.
    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. Smriti Rao & Christina Presenti, 2012. "Understanding Human Trafficking Origin: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 231-263, April.
    4. Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trebesch, Christoph, 2010. "The economics of human trafficking and labour migration: Micro-evidence from Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-188, June.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    6. Randall Akee & Arnab K. Basu & Arjun Bedi & Nancy H. Chau, 2014. "Transnational Trafficking, Law Enforcement, and Victim Protection: A Middleman Trafficker's Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 349-386.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:395339 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Francesca Bettio & Tushar Nandi, 2010. "Evidence on women trafficked for sexual exploitation: A rights based analysis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 15-42, February.
    9. Cho, Seo-Young & Dreher, Axel & Neumayer, Eric, 2013. "Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 67-82.
    10. 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.
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    12. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Policies against human trafficking: the role of religion and political institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 353-386, November.
    2. Artadi, Elsa & Björkman Nyqvist, Martina & Kuecken, Maria & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2018. "Understanding Human Trafficking Using Victim-Level Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 13279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Law and economics; Prostitution; Sexual exploitation; Sex slavery; Trafficking;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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