IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Transactional Sex as a Response to Risk in Western Keny

  • Robinson, Jonathan
  • Yeh, Ethan

Formal and informal commercial sex work is a way of life for many poor women in developing countries. Though sex workers have long been identified as crucial in affecting the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the nature of sex-for-money transactions remains poorly understood. Using a unique panel dataset constructed from 192 self-reported sex worker diaries which include detailed information on sexual behavior, labor supply, and income shocks, we find that sex workers adjust their supply of risky, better compensated sex to cope with unexpected income shocks, exposing themselves to increased risk of HIV infection. In particular, women are 3.2% more likely to see a client, 21.7% more likely to have anal sex, and 20.6% more likely to have unprotected sex on days in which a household member falls ill. Women also increase their supply of risky sex on days after missing work due to STI symptoms. Given that HIV prevalence has been estimated at 9.8% in this part of Kenya, these behavioral responses entail significant health risks for sex workers and their partners, and suggests that sex workers are unable to cope with income risk through other formal or informal consumption smoothing mechanisms.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7350/1/MPRA_paper_7350.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7405/1/MPRA_paper_7405.pdf
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7350.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 26 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7350
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  2. Jacoby, Hanan G & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 311-35, July.
  3. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  4. Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," NBER Working Papers 6035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
  6. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Chetty, Raj & Looney, Adam, 2006. "Consumption smoothing and the welfare consequences of social insurance in developing economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2351-2356, December.
  8. Dunkle, Kristin L. & Jewkes, Rachel K. & Brown, Heather C. & Gray, Glenda E. & McIntryre, James A. & Harlow, Siobán D., 2004. "Transactional sex among women in Soweto, South Africa: prevalence, risk factors and association with HIV infection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1581-1592, October.
  9. Robinson, Jonathan, 2008. "Limited Insurance Within the Household: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2px0t7pt, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "Do Workers Work More if Wages Are High? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 298-317, March.
  11. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 163-92, January.
  12. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1989. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investments in Bullocks in India," Bulletins 7487, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  13. Emily Oster, 2005. "Sexually Transmitted Infections, Sexual Behavior, and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 467-515, May.
  14. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Lokshin, Michael & Jana, Smarajit, 2003. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex: the compensating differential for condom use among Calcutta prostitutes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 585-603, August.
  15. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 46-82, February.
  16. Anjini Kochar, 1999. "Smoothing Consumption by Smoothing Income: Hours-of-Work Responses to Idiosyncratic Agricultural Shocks in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 50-61, February.
  17. Pascaline Dupas, 2009. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  19. Kochar, Anjini, 1995. "Explaining Household Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic Income Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 159-64, May.
  20. Emily Oster, 2007. "HIV and Sexual Behavior Change: Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 13049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "An Empirical Analysis of the Daily Labor Supply of Stadium Vendors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 360-392, April.
  22. Luke, Nancy, 2006. "Exchange and Condom Use in Informal Sexual Relationships in Urban Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 319-48, January.
  23. Raj Arunachalam & Manisha Shah, 2008. "Prostitutes and Brides?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 516-22, May.
  24. 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.
  25. Jeremy Magruder, 2011. "Marital Shopping and Epidemic AIDS," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1401-1428, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Transactional Sex as a Response to Risk in Western Kenya (AEJ:AE 2011) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7350. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.