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Economics of prostitution

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Lawrence W.
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  1. Introduction.
  2. Economics as a study of 'decision making'.
  3. The economics of prostitution according to the Laissez faire model.
    1. Catering to the tourist and the conventioneers.
    2. The police.
    3. The types of prostitution markets.
    4. Attracting a buyer.
    5. Competing with oneanother to attract the tourist dollar.
  4. Interpreting the laissez faire model using the city of San Francisco.
    1. Some visible signs of the respect prostitute's show for the police.
    2. The main reason for the modified laissez faire policies that prevail.
  5. Recent social studies analysing prostitution.
  6. Economic inquiry into prostitution.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

The market that buys and sells prostitution is very similar to other types of human interaction. It has deep roots in history and society, and has survived through the ages; resisting legal and economic uncertainties. It has become apart of Western culture just as much as much as fast-food and jewelery, it is an exchange between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Yet prostitution differs from these products too, as it sits in a market class all its own. For one, the product is sex, and sex is not necessarily an everyday topic for most people, or at least not in polite conversation. Secondly, prostitution is illegal in most of Canada and the United States. This illegality in the market includes both the supply side and the demand side, so that both parties in the exchange are risking arrest and penalty for their parts in the transaction.

[...] Finally, current public policies constituting the prohibition of prostitution should be changed for the good of society itself. (Reynolds, 1986). Of particular significance is the conclusion that citizens, lawmakers, and law enforcers can, to some extent set limits to the kinds of prostitution activities that will take their place in their community. This is one of the basic assumptions for the models of prostitution environments. Given the combination of forces that comprise decision making in a community (business interests, police, citizens, legislators), there will be a pressure for some control of prostitution but probably not a large commitment of resources to that effort. [...]


[...] The Laissez Faire Model of a Prostitution Environment Aspects of Comparison Type of Type of Degree of Visibilit Risk of Risk of Expected Environmen Prostitutio Competitio y of Arrest Violent Profitabi t n Market n Activitie Rival lity s Laissez Streetwalke High; few High Low High High; Faire rs, call barriers visibilit risk; risk; possibili Model girls, to entry police high ty of (Prostitut massage (may need blatant rarely degree large ion is parlours, a pimp). solicitat arrest. of revenues, illegal, escorts ion and rivalry costs but services, ancillary . [...]


[...] But that framework will shape both the type of prostitution markets operating there and the way in which prostitutes search for the most lucrative method of plying their trade. Just as in human nature for an individual to seek the optimum from any situation, so prostitutes will try to find the best market in which to operate in any given legal structure. (Reynolds, 1986). We will continue to analyse the economics of prostitution according to the Laissez faire model, which describes a market in which the government does not interfere. [...]

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