Abstract and Keywords
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.
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