The Market for Street Prostitutes in Chicago - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
The Market for Street Prostitutes in Chicago

The Market for Street Prostitutes in Chicago

One of the most intriguing papers in New Orleans this weekend was preliminary work by celebrity economist Steve Levitt of the University of Chicago and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University.

Venkatesh, who is no stranger to investigations of underground economies, hired former street prostitutes in the south side of Chicago to act as pollsters. The women stood on corners in three neighborhoods (Roseland, Pullman and Washington Park) and collected data from over 100 prostitutes on 2,000 transactions.

The numbers confirm the view that the life of a street prostitute is far from easy. The women were beaten up by their clients once a month on average and the sex acts requested by these clients were often "mind boggling," Levitt said.

"The availability of premarital sex has largely crowded out standard garden variety prostitution," Levitt told the packed room. "What's left is a lot of stuff that the market of wives and girlfriends won't easily provide."

How things have changed. In the 1930-40's, some 50 percent of men lost their virginity to prostitutes, but to have a first sexual experience with a prostitute these days is a rarity.

Using data from the Chicago police department, the researchers showed that prostitution arrests -- mostly the men seeking out sex -- happen in just 0.3 percent of all city blocks, meaning that the market for street prostitution is highly concentrated compared with other types of crime in the city. (The police department in Chicago posts mug shots of those arrested here.)

But we also learn that the police aren't much interested in arresting prostitutes.

"If you're a prostitute in our data, you're more likely to have sex with an off-duty police officer than to be arrested by an off-duty police officer," Levitt said.

In the neighborhood of Pullman, there was only one arrest made during the time Levitt and Venka collected data nearby Roseland had many more. What was the difference between the two neighborhoods? Pullman prostitutes tended to have pimps while Roseland prostitutes flew solo.

Pimps, it turns out, did a good job of directing customers to prostitutes and paid the women better wages. In fact, women in the survey who found out that the researchers had pimp connections asked to be put in touch with the pimps.

Prostitutes in the study worked 11 to 12 hours a week and made between $25- to $35-an-hour compared with an average of $7-an-hour for other types income opportunities. (In contrast, Levitt said a female friend stopped working as a computer scientist and is now a high-priced call girl making well over $100,000 per year.)

Safe sex wasn't on the minds of prostitutes in this "bottom of the barrel" market, Levitt said, as condoms were used in only five percent of all transactions. And about 5 percent of all tricks were freebies given to police officers or gang members.

The supply of prostitutes was also quite fluid.

During warm weather holidays, Washington Park attracts a number of family reunions which had the curious side effect of driving up demand for prostitutes. Still, Levitt and Venkatesh found that the price of tricks didn't rise in response.

As might be expected, prostitutes from other neighborhoods flowed into the area to soak up demand. But more surprisingly, women who didn't typically turn tricks also found the holidays a good time to make some extra money -- it seems that the stigma attached with prostitution is less pronounced in these areas.

The prostitutes in the study also practiced some ethnic price discrimination. If the customer was black (as were all the prostitutes in the study), the women would make the first price quote. But white customers where asked to name the first price in the hopes that the amount would be much higher than the typical transaction. Repeat customers who were black also paid a lot less than average, but that wasn't the case for whites.

Levitt and Venkatesh's full results will be featured in the upcoming sequel to Freakonomics.

The Market for Street Prostitutes in Chicago - Economics Blog - Zubin Jelveh - Odd Numbers -
Jakarta Expat is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 01:10 AM
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 34,513
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Attached Images
Teutone is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
This is primarily an economic paper about the ladies of the night................Wonder if Jaybird will refute the report on the girls controlled by Pimps and the freelancers without Pimps................
Jakarta Expat is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 07:21 AM
BenzWorld Elite
jlomon's Avatar
Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: 2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 3,488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Did you read Freakonomics, JE? It was very entertaining. Levitt has a decidedly non-standard way of looking at the world. One of his assertions was that the drop in violent crime from the high water mark in the 70's to where it ended up in the 90's was not due to "get tough on crime" legislation, but was in fact due to the legality of on-demand abortion. He postulated that poor, young women who found themselves pregnant in the past would drop out of school and raise their children as single moms, and that these kids were the ones more likely to become criminals due to the various socio-economic factors at work against them. After Roe v. Wade, many of these women would instead have abortions. In his mind, an entire generation of criminals was avoided. He also did a great bit on the relationship between the name a parent chose for their child, and that child's likely education prospects/success factors.

After reading this article, I can't wait for the sequel to come out. I didn't agree with everything he said, but it was an entertaining ride.
jlomon is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
Politicians and Prostitutes benz rider Off-Topic 10 09-05-2007 07:55 PM
Amsterdam to get statue to world's prostitutes. BNZ Off-Topic 23 01-17-2007 06:06 PM
40K extra prostitutes for soccer WM Germany Teutone Off-Topic 4 06-10-2006 01:15 AM
Prostitutes retrain as geriatric nurses firstmb Off-Topic 4 03-15-2006 09:20 PM
::Danes provide prostitutes for the disabled:: asianml Off-Topic 3 11-13-2005 11:55 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome