Sex work and online platforms: what should regulation do?

Cowen, Nicholas and Colosi, Rachela (2021) Sex work and online platforms: what should regulation do? Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy . ISSN 2045-2101

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Sex work and online platforms: what should regulation do?
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Abstract

Purpose
Assess the impact of online platforms on the sex industry, focussing specifically on direct sex work, and evaluate what approaches to platform regulation is likely to align with the interests of sex workers.
Design/methodology/approach
A review of interdisciplinary conceptual and empirical literature on sex work combined with analysis of key issues using a transaction cost framework.
Findings
Online platforms generally make sex work safer. Regulation aimed at preventing platforms from serving sex workers is likely to harm their welfare.
Research limitations/implications
Regulation of online platforms should take great care to differentiate coercive sex from consensual sex work, and allow sex workers to experiment with governance mechanisms provided by entrepreneurs.
Originality/value
The paper demonstrates how a transactions costs approach to market behavior as applied to personal services like ridesharing can also shed light on the challenges that sex workers face, partly as a result of criminalisation, and the dangers of over-regulation.

Keywords:sex work, transaction costs, online platforms, FOSTA-SESTA, feminism, common carriers
Subjects:L Social studies > L310 Applied Sociology
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L113 Economic Policy
M Law > M211 Criminal Law
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:42957
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 10:29

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