Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Legal Status on Versatility and Efficiency in Prostitution Markets
This chapter examines the impact of legal status on versatility and efficiency in prostitution markets. Focusing on the massage-parlor sector of the prostitution market in the northwest of England, it considers heterogeneity in consumer preferences and whether there exists a perfectly competitive market model with homogeneous sellers. It first provides an overview of the economics of prostitution before discussing the role of variety seeking in the demand for prostitution services. Drawing on consumer-oriented data from massage parlors in the northwest of England, it argues that economies-of-scope conditions have failed to develop to satisfy demand for variety in the area. It also sees the predominant concentration of massage-parlor sex work in England to be of low quality, reflecting a declining influence of the traditional firm-based sex work there.
Todd M. Johnson and Brian J. Grim
The academic field of religious demography is in the early stages of development. Although there are thousands of sources for international religious demography, ranging from censuses and demographic surveys to statistics collected and reported by religious groups themselves, little has been done by scholars in religion, sociology, or other disciplines to collect, collate, and analyze these data over the past decades. Secondary sources for religious demography, such as Wikipedia or the CIA Factbook, are woefully inadequate and riddled with contradictions and errors. Despite these problems in handling and interpreting religious data, international religious demography is a growing field of study. In the past twenty-five years, an enormous amount of data has been collected and analyzed. New sources of information include government censuses, surveys and polls, records kept by religious communities, scholarly monographs, and Roman Catholic Church and religion yearbooks and handbooks. This article, which looks at sources and methodology related to international religious demography, also discusses the evolution of the World Christian Database and the World Religion Database.
Stephen P. Jenkins and Philippe Van Kerm
This article provides an introduction to methods for the measurement of economic inequality. It reviews the inequality measures that economists have developed, and explains how one might choose between indices or check whether conclusions about inequality difference can be derived without choosing any specific index. It reviews mobility measurement and some fundamental questions about how the distributions of economic interest are defined.
The supply-side approach to understanding religious participation is perhaps one of the more influential ideas of the religious economies model. The term “supply side” was first applied by R. Stephen Warner to Roger Finke and Rodney Stark's analyses found in the Churching of America (1992). In that book, Finke and Stark suggest that most previous historical and sociological explanations of changing religious participation rates over time and across national and geographic settings had been based on notions of changing levels of demand for religion, theories which have since been labeled demand-side theories. This article describes some of the data limitations that make it difficult to distinguish the separate influences of supply and demand in real life analyses of religious participation rates. It then presents a method which, when applied to common geographically based data sets, can be used to construct measures of demand that are independent of measures of the supply of religion. The article summarizes the results of the 2000 Religious Congregations and Church Membership Study (RCMS) and presents U.S. county-level census data from 2000.