March 2018

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

Alexander Muravyev, Oleksandr Talavera

forthcoming in: Scottish journal of political economy, 2018

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 PunterNet.com 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.