Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 501–516 | Cite as

Who is watching? The market for prostitution services

  • Marina Della Giusta
  • Maria Laura Di Tommaso
  • Steinar Strøm


This paper presents an economic model of prostitution that differs from the existing literature in that it makes no restrictive assumptions regarding the gender, pay, and nature of forgone earning opportunities of prostitutes and clients, and applies the same behavioural hypotheses to both. Our model gives a central role of stigma and reputation effects to both clients and prostitutes. We discuss demand, supply, and equilibrium results, indicating the possible effects of different policies on the industry and its different markets.


Prostitution Gender Reputation 

JEL Classification

J16 J22 J23 



We gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions received from two anonymous referees, Alessandro Cigno, Leif Andreassen, Francesca Bettio, Mark Casson, Graham Crampton, Christopher Flinn, Jane Humphreys, Giulia Garofalo, participants to the 2004 Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics, participants to the 2004 Annual Conference of the International Association for Feminist Economics.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Della Giusta
    • 1
  • Maria Laura Di Tommaso
    • 2
    • 3
  • Steinar Strøm
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSchool of Business, University of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.CHILDTurinItaly
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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