The Law and Economics of International Sex Slavery: Prostitution Laws and Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation
Niklas Jakobsson () and
Andreas Kotsadam ()
No 458, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics
International trafficking in humans for sexual exploitation is an economic activity driven by profit motives, and up to four million people are estimated to be exploited by human traffickers each year. Laws regarding commercial sex influence the profitability of trafficking and may thus affect the inflow of trafficking to a country. Using two recent sources of European cross country data we show that trafficking of persons for commercial sexual exploitation (as proxied by the data sets we are using) is least prevalent in countries where prostitution is illegal, most prevalent in countries where prostitution is legalized, and in between in those countries where prostitution is legal but procuring illegal. Case studies of two countries (Norway and Sweden) that have criminalized buying sex support the possibility of a causal link from harsher prostitution laws to reduced trafficking. Although the data do not allow us to infer robust causal inference, the results suggest that criminalizing procuring, or going further and criminalizing buying and/or selling sex, may reduce the amount of trafficking to a country.
Keywords: law and economics; prostitution; sexual exploitation; sex slavery; trafficking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 K14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2010-07-07, Revised 2013-06-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-law
Note: Published in European Journal of Law and Economics (2013), Vol. 35, No. 1
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (27) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Jakobsson, Niklas and Andreas Kotsadam, 'The Law and Economics of International Sex Slavery: Prostitution Laws and Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation' in European Journal of Law and Economics, 2013, pages 87-107.
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: The law and economics of international sex slavery: prostitution laws and trafficking for sexual exploitation (2013)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0458
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Ann-Christin Räätäri Nyström ().