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 13, 2013
IFN Working Paper No. 996
NYU Stern School of Business EC-12-07
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-08
We study human trafficking in a marriage market model of prostitution. When trafficking is based on coercion, trafficking victims constitute a non-zero share of supply in any unregulated prostitution market. We ask if regulation can eradicate trafficking and restore the outcome that would arise in an unregulated market without traffickers. 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, but 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, K23
Date posted: May 14, 2012 ; Last revised: January 9, 2015
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