Street Prostitution Zones and Crime

36 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015

See all articles by Paul Bisschop

Paul Bisschop

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research

Stephen Kastoryano

University of Mannheim; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Bas van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of introducing legal street prostitution zones on both registered and perceived crime. We exploit a unique setting in the Netherlands where legal street prostitution zones were opened in nine cities under different regulation systems. We provide evidence that the opening of these zones was not in response to changes in crime.Our difference-in-difference analysis using data on the largest 25 Dutch cities between 1994 and 2011 shows that opening a legal street prostitution zone decreases registered sexual abuse and rape by about 30% to 40% in the first two years. For cities which opened a legal street prostitution zone with a licensing system we also find significant reductions in drug-related crime and long-term effects on sexual assaults. Perceived drug nuisance increases upon opening but then decreases below pre-opening levels in cities with a licensed prostitution zone. In contrast, we find permanent increases in perceived drug crime in the areas adjacent to the legal prostitution zones.

Keywords: prostitution, registered crime, perceived crime, regulation, difference-in-difference

JEL Classification: J16, J47, K14, K23, K42

Suggested Citation

Bisschop, Paul and Kastoryano, Stephen and van der Klaauw, Bas, Street Prostitution Zones and Crime. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9038. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2606891

Paul Bisschop (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research

Roetersstraat 29
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Stephen Kastoryano

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bas Van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6120 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6005 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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