Regulating Prostitution: Theory and Evidence from Italy
We build an equilibrium model of prostitution where clients and sex workers choose to demand and supply sex under three legal regimes: prohibition, regulation and laissez-faire. The key feature is the endogenous evolution of the risk as a consequence of policy changes. We calibrate the model to empirical evidence from Italy and then compare the effect of different policies on the equilibrium quantity of prostitution and on the harm associated with it. A prohibition regime that makes it illegal to buy sex but not to sell it is more effective than the opposite regime in reducing quantity but less effective in reducing harm. Taxes are one inducement to go illegal and prevent some of the less risky individuals from joining the market, leaving it smaller but riskier. A licensing system that prevents some infected individuals from joining the legal market reduces the risk and is therefore associated with a sharp increase in quantity. While prohibition is preferable to minimize quantity, regulation is best to minimize harm.
|Date of creation:||20 Feb 2012|
|Date of revision:||12 Nov 2014|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Public Economics, 2015, vol. 121, pp. 14-31|
|Note:||A previous version of the paper has been circulated under the title ”Regulating Prostitution: Theory and Evidence from Italy”.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
Web page: http://www.csef.it/
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.:
- Samuel Cameron & Alan Collins & Neill Thew, 1999.
"Prostitution services: an exploratory empirical analysis,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1523-1529.
- Collins, A. & Cameron, S. & Thew, N., 1998. "Prostitution Services : An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," Papers 111, Portsmouth University - Department of Economics.
- Della Giusta, Marina & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Shima, Isilda & Strøm, Steinar, 2006.
"What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US,"
10/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Isilda Shima & Steinar Str�m, 2009. "What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(18), pages 2261-2277.
- Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Isilda Shima & Steinar Strøm, 2006. "What money buys: clients of street sex workers in the US," CHILD Working Papers wp12_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
- Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998.
"Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility,"
NBER Working Papers
6567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Greenwood, Jeremy & Kircher, Philipp & Santos, Cezar & Tertilt, Michèle, 2013.
"An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
9423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Philipp Kircher & Michele Tertilt & Cezar Santos & Jeremy Greenwood, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," 2013 Meeting Papers 195, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 18953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michele Tertilt, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 20, Economie d'Avant Garde.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cameron, S. & Collins, A., 2001. "Estimates of a Model of Male Participation in the Market for Female Heterosexual Prostitution Services," Papers 139, Portsmouth University - Department of Economics.
- Emily Oster, 2005. "Sexually Transmitted Infections, Sexual Behavior, and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 467-515.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:308. 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: (Lia Ambrosio)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.