The Economics of Hookers

Spain is where they put they mack down.

Dr. Dre famously prescribed tourists “pack a vest for your jimmy in the city of sex”. He was talking about condoms, but apparently ‘jimmy’ doesn’t translate to Spanish. Now the ladies who legally offer sex for sale have to wear these sexy vests abominations.

Women touting for customers on a rural highway outside Els Alamus near Lleida in Catalonia have been told to don the yellow fluorescent bibs or pay fines of 40 euros (£36) under road traffic laws.

A spokesman for the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra said: “In the past couple of months the prostitutes have been fined for two reasons: for not wearing the reflective jacket and for creating danger on the public highway.”

The move follows recent legislation introduced by Els Alamus town hall to ban prostitutes from offering sex for sale in public urban areas. The mayor Josep Maria Bea has been accused of mounting a campaign to drive the sex workers out of the area.

Fortunately bright yellow vests really rev my motor. This little tidbit at the tail of the article got me thinking:

An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes in Spain where prostitution is not illegal but profiting from the sale of sex by another is.

Women wearing very little clothing and standing on roadsides outside towns and cities are a common sight across Spain. A recent survey found one in four Spanish men admitted to having paid for sex.

If I were an Econ grad student, I would propose a thesis on the conjunction of prostitution and Say’s Law. As Keynes famously rephrased (and bastardized) it, ‘supply creates it’s own demand’. Anyone who’s ever suffered through interminable meetings should understand. Is that true in a legalized, regulated sex industry? Could be a wonderful new series of papers, appropriately enough in Austrian Economics.

Via Jesse Walker.

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