Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1055–1080 | Cite as

Prostitution, hours, job amenities and education

  • Scott Cunningham
  • Todd D. Kendall


We analyze the relationship between education and criminal behavior based on a survey of nearly 700 North American female escorts who provide (typically illegal) prostitution services. Nearly 40% of the women in our sample report college completion. College-educated women are less likely to see clients in any given week and do not earn higher average hourly wages. However, conditional on seeing any clients, college-educated prostitutes see more clients and provide longer client sessions. We demonstrate that these results are consistent with a model in which college-educated prostitutes have better outside options to prostitution, but are also able to reduce the marginal disutility of prostitution work by attracting fewer unpleasant clients and by combining sexual services with non-sexual services such as companionship, where college education may be productive.


Prostitution Labor supply Human capital 

JEL Classification

I18 K42 Z18 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor UniversityWacoUSA
  2. 2.Compass LexeconChicagoUSA

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