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Street Prostitution Zones and Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Bisschop, Paul

    () (SEO Economic Research)

  • Kastoryano, Stephen

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • van der Klaauw, Bas

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of introducing legal street prostitution zones on both registered and perceived crime. We exploit a unique setting in the Netherlands where legal street prostitution zones were opened in nine cities under different regulation systems. We provide evidence that the opening of these zones was not in response to changes in crime. Our difference-in-difference analysis using data on the largest 25 Dutch cities between 1994 and 2011 shows that opening a legal street prostitution zone decreases registered sexual abuse and rape by about 30% to 40% in the first two years. For cities which opened a legal street prostitution zone with a licensing system we also find significant reductions in drug-related crime and long-term effects on sexual assaults. Perceived drug nuisance increases upon opening but then decreases below pre-opening levels in cities with a licensed prostitution zone. In contrast, we find permanent increases in perceived drug crime in the areas adjacent to the legal prostitution zones.

Suggested Citation

  • Bisschop, Paul & Kastoryano, Stephen & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2015. "Street Prostitution Zones and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 9038, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2011. "Crime And Police Resources: The Street Crime Initiative," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 678-701, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Cho, Seo-Young & Dreher, Axel & Neumayer, Eric, 2013. "Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 67-82.
    5. Jérôme Adda & Brendon McConnell & Imran Rasul, 2014. "Crime and the Depenalization of Cannabis Possession: Evidence from a Policing Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 1130-1202.
    6. Adda, Jérôme & McConnell, Brendon & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Crime and the depenalization of cannabis possession: evidence," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/05, European University Institute.
    7. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:28-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
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    1. repec:bla:scotjp:v:65:y:2018:i:5:p:528-549 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:28-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alexander Muravyev & Oleksandr Talavera, 2018. "Unsafe Sex in the City: Risk Pricing in the London Area," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(5), pages 528-549, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Sonnabend, Hendrik & Stadtmann, Georg, 2018. "Good intentions and unintended evil? Adverse effects of criminalizing clients in paid sex markets with voluntary and involuntary prostitution," Discussion Papers 400, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    6. Brinkman, Jeffrey & Mok-Lamme, David, 2017. "Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime," Working Papers 17-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    prostitution; registered crime; perceived crime; regulation; difference-in-difference;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J47 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Coercive Labor Markets
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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