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Does Prostitution Constrain Sex Crimes? Micro-evidence from Korea

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  • Seo-Young Cho

    () (University of Marburg)

Abstract

This paper investigates empirically whether prostitution reduces sex crimes. Theoretical predictions suggest two contradicting effects: substituting or complementing. By using survey data of sex offenders in Korea, I find that prostitution increases the probability of one committing sex crimes. Also, the experience of buying sex with a minor exacerbates the severity of sex crimes. These results indicate that prostitution intensifies one’s propensities for more violent sexual behaviors, suggesting a complementary relationship between prostitution and sex crimes. The main findings do not alter after accounting for the endogeneity of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Seo-Young Cho, 2015. "Does Prostitution Constrain Sex Crimes? Micro-evidence from Korea," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201521, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201521
    as

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    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2015/21-2015_cho.pdf
    File Function: First 201521
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    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. 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.
    5. Zimmerman, Paul R. & Benson, Bruce L., 2007. "Alcohol and rape: An "economics-of-crime" perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 442-473, December.
    6. Cho, Seo-Young & Dreher, Axel & Neumayer, Eric, 2013. "Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 67-82.
    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. 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.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sex crime; prostitution; complementary effects; substitution effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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