Working Paper Series
Samuel Lee and Petra Persson
Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution
Abstract: 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
Keywords: Prostitution; Trafficking; Contemporary slavery; Marriage; Illegal goods; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D10; J16; J47; J49; K14; K23; (follow links to similar papers)
38 pages, December 13, 2013
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