Levitt on Prostitution

There are those who wish to make prostitution illegal in the UK. John has views. Steven Levitt has new empirical information.

Surprising to an outsider are the fluidity with which these women move in and out of prostitution and other work, their willingness to absorb enormous risk for a small pecuniary reward, and the blurred lines between good and evil, where police extort sex and pimps pay efficiency wages.

Where prostitution is illegal (as it is in Chicago) pimps enable prostitutes to make more money. Is that what Harriett actually wants? More pimps?

4 comments on “Levitt on Prostitution

  1. I stumbled acress a killer argument for full legalisation in a Guardian article (of all places, don’t know how it slipped through the net, you can guess what the overall tenor was) in which a woman who had drifted into prostitution said if you get a criminal record for e.g. soliciting, then it is nigh impossible to get a proper job again afterwards and thus get out of prostituion. The woman argued strongly that prostituion related activities (soliciting) should be made legal so that it is easier to go back into normal employment if you have the chance.

  2. in itself (and only in itself) that actually supports the current criminalisation plans, under which AIUI buyers would be criminalised but soliciting would be decriminalised…

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