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Quashing Demand Criminalizing Clients? Evidence from the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Della Giusta, Marina

    () (University of Reading)

  • Di Tommaso, Maria Laura

    () (University of Turin)

  • Jewell, Sarah

    () (University of Reading)

  • Bettio, Francesca

    () (University of Siena)

Abstract

We discuss changes in the demand for paid sex accompanying the criminalization of prostitution in the United Kingdom, which moved from a relatively permissive regime under the Wolfenden Report of 1960, to a much harder line of aiming to crack down on prostitution with the Prostitution (Public Places) Scotland Act 2007 and the Policing and Crime Act of 2009 in England and Wales. We make use of two waves of a representative survey, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal2, conducted in 2000-2001 and Natsal3, conducted in 2010-2012) to illustrate the changes in demand that have taken place across the two waves. We do not find demand decreasing in our sample and find a shift in the composition of demand towards more risky clients, which we discuss in the context of the current trends towards criminalization of prostitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Della Giusta, Marina & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Jewell, Sarah & Bettio, Francesca, 2019. "Quashing Demand Criminalizing Clients? Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 12405, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12405
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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 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.
    3. Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Isilda Shima & Steinar Strøm, 2009. "What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(18), pages 2261-2277.
    4. Francesca Bettio & Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso, 2017. "Sex Work and Trafficking: Moving beyond Dichotomies," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 1-22, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Julio J. Elías & Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Paola Salardi, 2017. "Economic Development and the Regulation of Morally Contentious Activities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 76-80, May.
    7. Amy Farmer & Andrew W. Horowitz, 2013. "Prostitutes, Pimps, and Brothels: Intermediaries, Information, and Market Structure in Prostitution Markets," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 513-528, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Samuel Cameron, 2002. "The Economics of Sin," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2582, July.
    10. Di Tommaso Maria Laura & Shima Isilda & Steinar Strom & Bettio Francesca, 2007. "As Bad as it Gets: Well Being Deprivation of Sexually Exploited Trafficked women," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200703, University of Turin.
    11. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    12. Alan Collins, 2004. "Sexuality and Sexual Services in the Urban Economy and Socialscape: An Overview," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(9), pages 1631-1641, August.
    13. Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins & Neill Thew, 1999. "Prostitution services: an exploratory empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1523-1529.
    14. Cunningham Scott & Kendall Todd D, 2011. "Men in Transit and Prostitution: Using Political Conventions as a Natural Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20, June.
    15. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
    16. 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.
    17. Satz, Debra, 2010. "Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195311594.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    criminalization; prostitution; demand;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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