Research Handbook on the Economics of Family Law
Show Less

Research Handbook on the Economics of Family Law

Edited by Lloyd R. Cohen and Joshua D. Wright

The Research Handbook on the Economics of Family Law gives us a series of original essays by distinguished scholars in economics, law or both. The essays represent a variety of approaches to the field. Many contain extensive surveys of the literature with respect to the particular question they address. Some employ empirical economics, others are more narrowly legal. They have in common one thing: each scholar employs a core economic tool or insight to shed light on some aspect of family law and social institutions broadly understood. Topics covered include: divorce, child support, infant feeding, abortion access, prostitution, the decline in marriage, birth control and incentives for partnering.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: Prostitution, Technology, and the Law: New Data and Directions

Scott Cunningham and Todd D. Kendall


* Scott Cunningham and Todd D. Kendall 1 INTRODUCTION While variously encouraged, sanctioned, prohibited, and taxed in different societies under different legal and regulatory systems, prostitution has continuously played an important role in family phenomena for most of human history. For men, prostitutes may be either economic substitutes or complements for wives in consumption (Posner, 1992), and their availability can also affect wives’ position in pre- and post-marital bargaining (Garofalo, 2002). For women, prostitution is a substitute for marriage in production (Edlund and Korn, 2002), and its prevalence can thus affect the rate of family formation and out-ofwedlock childbirth. For society, prostitution potentially has substantial externalities, and in most societies, laws have imposed various regulations on transactions between prostitutes, customers, and others involved in the industry.1 Despite the importance of the phenomenon, economic analysis of sex work is in its infancy. There have been some theoretical advances, but a fuller understanding of the phenomenon of prostitution has been stymied by a dearth of systematic data collection. Moreover, the extant empirical literature on the economics of prostitution has primarily focused on either developing countries or, in some cases, outdoor (e.g., streetwalking) prostitution in first-world nations.2 Our focus in this chapter is on modern prostitution, the institutions of which have changed substantially in the last decade due to the introduction of modern technology, including mobile telephones and the Internet. These technologies have facilitated a substantial indoor market for sex in developed countries, in which customers search online for prostitutes, who in turn screen...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.