European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 393–404 | Cite as

Shame on you, John! Laws, stigmatization, and the demand for sex

  • Andreas Kotsadam
  • Niklas Jakobsson


The present article contributes to the literature on prostitution by shedding light on the effects of the criminalization of buying sex on the amount of prostitution bought, as well as on the proposed theoretical mechanisms underlying this change. We find indications that criminalizing the buying of sex may decrease the quantity of sex bought. While we find that stigma influences the demand for sex, we do not find that stigma increases as a result of the law. Therefore, the possible reduced quantity of sex bought is probably due to the more direct risk of getting caught.


Gender Law Norm Prostitution Reputation Sex Stigma 

JEL Classification

J16 J22 J23 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Social ResearchOsloNorway

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