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date: 19 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the economics of male prostitution as practiced in the United States. It begins with an overview of some basic features and organization of the online market for male sex work. It then considers the unique social circumstances that occur in male prostitution and how they inform the economic analysis. It also reviews two empirical economic issues that have been analyzed in the literature: the role of asymmetric information and the geographic distribution of male-sex-worker services. The results show that male sex workers typically attempt to signal their reliability to potential male customers by providing detailed information about their identity ex ante so as to credibly implicate themselves if there is any ex post negative outcome. Furthermore, male sex workers appear to have a nontrivial number of heterosexually identified male clients, which can help explain why credible signals by male sex workers are so important in this market.

Keywords: male prostitution, male sex work, asymmetric information, geographic distribution, male sex workers, male customers, identity

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