The Economics of Selling Sex – Part Two

This is a continuation of a discussion of "Freakonomics" author Steven Levitt’s findings of selling sex in Chicago.

We have so far seen that the market for selling sex has been effective at not getting caught, paying its workers high incomes, and successfully being able to price discriminate.

Just to add to the price discrimination idea, a funny idea I had was is that people usually don’t like to be price discriminated against. They sometimes get the government to intervene and because prostitution is illegal the market is protected from that type of intervention.

On to the other findings:

The found that there are demand shocks in the prostitution market just like in real life. If we were all of a sudden to have a lot more gas our economy would boom. The same goes for prostitution.

When people came to Washington Park, which was one of the areas in Chicago, for the fourth of July celebration the business grew by 60% and prices rose 30%. I think this is amazing. The reason why prices did jump up more is because he believes there is a flexible labor supply. I am unsure about this. I would have a hard time imagining women who were regular workers and a large amount that were part-time.

One of the most important and against the illegalization people in prostitution is the finding that the workers made more money with pimps. They were also less likely to be arrested. I am not sure how but that is definitely an important finding because many people against it worry about the trafficking of prostitutes and being used by pimps. I have even heard people in the middle say "I support prostitution, but not pimps."

The other interesting side is the ideas that Taggert Brooks brought up, which is what kind of people go to strip clubs. These people are usually looking for near-sex experiences and realize prostitution is just around the corner. He found that they were college educated who have had an STI. This is kind of the burn sydrom.

For example: my female friend asked me when will the guy say ‘I Love You,’ which we all know is an important stage in the relationship. I told her right after you if he got burned before. These two examples are a lot alike.

The next time you are having a discussion about prostitutes you are now well armed with facts and interesting discussion topics.

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Published in: on March 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. tarrible

  2. hhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii


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