Steven Levitt, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and co-author of Freakonomics, recently presented results from a study exploring the economics of street prostitution, the Economist reported.
The findings, gleaned by collecting information from arrest records and 2,200 tricks turned by a bunch of Chicagoan hookers, show nearly 50 percent of Chicago's prostitution-related arrests occurring within a small cross-section of the city, on a miniscule .3 percent of street corners (hookers need to congregate in a specific area so customers know where to look, obvs).
Levitt explained pricing strategies are similar to other businesses—“fees vary with the service provided and prostitutes maximize returns by segmenting the market,” the Economist reported. Whites generally are charged more than blacks, the study shows, but interestingly hotter prostitutes didn't get higher fees than chicks who might be encouraged to don a paper bag while doing the deed.
The study also noted that demand rose around city-wide events: During July 4th weekend, business rose 60 percent; prices rose by 30 percent.
And, for those of you who've thought about ditching that lame McDonald's uniform, sex workers in Chicago earn on average $25-30 per hour. Not sure how much of your STD meds that'll cover (sex without a condom is apparently the norm among Chicago prostitutes). Plus, you have to put up with occasional abuse: Levitt said he figures sex workers are assaulted monthly.
[Originally posted at playgirl.com/blog]