Posted by RichAsianKid
My take? Girlfriends (or wives) are like cars. People want new chic models (pun intended) and not old clunkers. Test drives are fun. Rentals get you variety. Those who fall in love with one and end up purchasing one usually dump it when it is 3-4 years old*(1).
Rich men have multiple cars in their showcase garages. Middle class guys go from model to model serially. Poor dudes just resort to public transport*(2).
*(1) peak divorce rate
*(2) whores are public property
The Economics Of Prostitution
Michael Noer, 02.14.06, 12:00 PM ET
Wife or whore?
The choice is that simple. At least according to economists Lena Edlund and Evelyn Korn, it is.
The two well-respected economists created a minor stir in academic circles a few years back when they published “A Theory of Prostitution” in the Journal of Political Economy. The paper was remarkable not only for being accepted by a major journal but also because it considered wives and whores as economic “goods” that can be substituted for each other. Men buy, women sell.
Economists have been equating money and marriage ever since Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker published his seminal paper “A Theory of Marriage” in two parts in 1973 and 1974–also, not coincidentally, in the Journal of Political Economy.
Becker used market analysis to tackle the questions of whom, when and why we marry. His conclusions? Mate selection is a market, and marriages occur only if they are profitable for both parties involved.
Becker allowed nonmonetary elements, like romantic love and companionship, to be entered into courtship’s profit and loss statement. And children, in particular, were important. “Sexual gratification, cleaning, feeding and other services can be purchased, but not children: Both the man and the woman are required to produce
their own children and perhaps to raise them,” he wrote.
But back to whores: Edlund and Korn admit that spouses and streetwalkers aren’t exactly alike. Wives, in truth, are superior to whores in the economist’s sense of being a good whose consumption increases as income rises–like fine wine. This may explain why prostitution is less common in wealthier countries. But the implication
remains that wives and whores are–if not exactly like Coke and Pepsi–something akin to champagne and beer. The same sort of thing.
As with Becker, a key differentiator in Edlund and Korn’s model is reproductive sex. Wives can offer it, whores can not.
To be fair, Edlund and Korn were merely building an admittedly grossly simplified model of human behavior in an attempt to answer a nagging question: Why do hookers make so much money? Prostitution is, seemingly, a low-skill but high-pay profession with few upfront costs, micro-miniskirts and stiletto heels aside.
Yet according to data assembled from a wide variety of times and places, ranging from mid-15th-century France to Malaysia of the late 1990s, prostitutes make more money–in some cases, a lot more money–than do working girls who, well, work for a living. This held true even for places where prostitution is legal and relatively safe. In short, streetwalkers aren’t necessarily being paid more for their increased risk of going to jail or the hospital.
Notwithstanding Jerry Hall’s quip when she was married to Mick Jagger, about being “a maid in the living room and a whore in the bedroom,” one normally cannot be both a wife and a whore. “Combine this with the fact that marriage can be an important source of income for women, and it follows that prostitution must pay better than other jobs to compensate for the opportunity cost of forgone-marriage market earnings,” Edlund and Korn conclude.
Another zinger: “This begs the question of why married men go to prostitutes (rather than buying from their wives, who presumably will be low-cost providers, considering that they can sell nonreproductive sex without compromising their marriage).” Guys, nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” more than “low-cost provider.”
Of course, it’s easy to pour cold water on some of the assumptions made in Edlund and Korn’s mathematical model. But these so-called “stylized facts” are supposed to predict human behavior; they don’t necessarily pretend to mirror it.
In particular, the assumption that there is no “third way” between wife and whore is problematic, if not outright offensive: “The third alternative, working in a regular job but not marrying, can be ruled out, since we assume that the only downside of marriage for a woman is the forgone opportunity for prostitution.”
Be sure to let all your married friends know what they’re missing.
Also, the emphasis on the utility of children is puzzling. In most Western democracies, fertility rates have plummeted as wealth has increased. Empirically, men not only buy fewer whores as they get richer, but they have fewer children.
Still, the economic analysis of marriage explains one age-old phenomenon: gold digging.
“In particular, does our analysis justify the popular belief that more beautiful, charming and talented women tend to marry wealthier and more successful men?” wrote Becker. His answer: “A positive sorting of nonmarket traits with nonhuman wealth always, and with earnings power, usually, maximizes commodity output over all marriages.”
In other words, yes, supermodels do prefer aging billionaires. And Gary Becker proved it mathematically decades before The Donald married Melania.
Prostitutes are generally young, uneducated and female. It is a low-skill job that has few upfront costs. But prostitutes make more money–in some cases much more–than working girls who, well, work for a living. This holds true even in places where prostitution is legal and relatively safe, so it can’t just be that hookers are being paid more because they run an increased risk of going to jail or the
So why do hookers make so much money?
In 2002, a pair of economists concluded that whores make so much more than their working-class peers because they forego the economic benefits of getting married. But how much more do they make? This slide show illustrates the difference in seven different times and places through history.
Source: “A Theory of Prostitution,” Journal of Political Economy, 2002.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
“Free sex is promoted in order to destroy the heterosexual family. The bankers who financed Communism want the state to replace the father as head of the family.
If they have their way, the family of the future will have no husband or father. This is straight out of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World where babies are born in test tubes.
Sexual intercourse represents the essence of her commitment to her husband and her offspring. Women who have had many partners find it more difficult to bond to one man, and consequently he has difficulty bonding with her.
Sexual liberation sanctions and encourages this callous and primitive behavior and invites the woman to collude in her own exploitation and degradation.
Men who do not become husbands and fathers and continue to see women as sex objects suffer from arrested development.”