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Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking?

Cho, Seo-Young, Dreher, Axel and Neumayer, Eric ORCID: 0000-0003-2719-7563 (2013) Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking? World Development, 41. pp. 67-82. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.05.023


This paper investigates the impact of legalized prostitution on human trafficking inflows. According to economic theory, there are two opposing effects of unknown magnitude. The scale effect of legalized prostitution leads to an expansion of the prostitution market, increasing human trafficking, while the substitution effect reduces demand for trafficked women as legal prostitutes are favored over trafficked ones. Our empirical analysis for a cross-section of up to 150 countries shows that the scale effect dominates the substitution effect. On average, countries where prostitution is legal experience larger reported human trafficking inflows.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2012 10:24
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 20:45
Funders: European Commission

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