Informal Urban Economy: A Historical Approach of Paris Street-Level Prostitution

26 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2014

See all articles by Alexandre Frondizi

Alexandre Frondizi

SciencesPo

Simon Porcher

IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School

Date Written: August 17, 2012

Abstract

How can districts become totally embedded in informal economy despite harsh state regulation? In this paper, we use qualitative and quantitative data to explain the increasing number of “clandestine” street prostitutes in Paris during The Belle Epoque. We first describe the economics of street prostitution at the time: street prostitutes were young, unskilled and well-paid; they tended to work with pimps that were from the same area and clustered in neighborhoods where they could compete with regulated brothels. Street prostitutes not only generated profits for themselves but also for a whole bunch of actors, thereby switching the whole local economy to this industry, at the expense of the formal economy.

Keywords: prostitution, informal economy, sex workers, Belle Epoque

JEL Classification: E26, N33

Suggested Citation

Frondizi, Alexandre and Porcher, Simon, Informal Urban Economy: A Historical Approach of Paris Street-Level Prostitution (August 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2511198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2511198

Alexandre Frondizi

SciencesPo

Rue de l'Université 13
Paris
France

Simon Porcher (Contact Author)

IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School ( email )

IAE - Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
8 bis rue croix de Jarry
Paris, 75013
France

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