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The Economic Returns to Good Looks and Risky Sex in the Bangladesh Commercial Sex Market

Asadul Islam () and Russell Smyth ()

No 41-10, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This study examines the economic returns to beauty and unprotected sex in the commercial sex market in Bangladesh. The results show that there is a beauty premium for commercial sex work, but it is within the bounds of the economic returns to beauty for women in occupations that do not involve sex work. We find that there is an earnings premium for sex workers who sell unprotected sex and that more attractive sex workers charge a higher premium for unprotected sex. This result is consistent with either attractive sex workers having more bargaining/negotiating power or attractiveness and risky sex being complements for males in the presence of attractive women. The results are robust to a number of empirical specifications including controls for sex workers’ disposition, client characteristics and a number of fixed effects to control for other attributes of sex workers and their clients.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa and nep-lab
Date: 2010-05
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Journal Article: The Economic Returns to Good Looks and Risky Sex in the Bangladesh Commercial Sex Market (2012) Downloads
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