March 2018

IZA DP No. 11390: Unsafe Sex in the City: Risk Pricing in the London Area

Alexander Muravyev, Oleksandr Talavera

published in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 2018, 65(5), 528-549

This paper studies the incidence, determinants and pricing of unprotected oral sex in the London sex services market. The analysis is based upon matched sex worker-client panel data, which were collected from "field reports" on website over the 1999-2009 time period. We find a steady increase in the incidence of unprotected oral sex during this period, rising from less than 20% to over 50% of all transactions. We show that the average premium for unprotected oral sex amounts to about 10-14% of the transaction price, and that this premium is higher if a sex worker has agency affiliation. Agency affiliated sex workers are also less likely to engage in unprotected oral sex compared to independent sex workers.