Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Stanford University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
December 2, 2013
NYU Stern School of Business EC-12-07
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-08
We study sex trafficking in a marriage market model of prostitution. When traffickers can coerce women to sell sex, trafficked prostitutes constitute a non-zero share of supply in any unregulated market for sex. We ask if regulation can eradicate trafficking and restore the equilibrium that would arise in an unregulated market without traffickers. While all existing approaches – criminalization of prostitutes (“the traditional model”), licensed prostitution (“the Dutch model”), and criminalization of johns (“the Swedish model”) – fail to accomplish this goal, we show that there exists an alternative regulatory model that does. Political support for regulation hinges on the level of gender income inequality.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: Prostitution, trafficking, contemporary slavery, marriage, illegal goods
JEL Classification: D10, J16, J47, J49, K14, K23working papers series
Date posted: May 14, 2012 ; Last revised: December 2, 2013
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