Escorts and GDP , an impossible equation

Economists have attempted to theorize prostitution. A failure!

Prostitution is not just a social issue , it is also an economic issue. The proof ? In September 2006 , the Greek government, which was already suspected at the time by Eurostat to fake its public accounts , proposed to Brussels to reassess the country's GDP to 25 % by including the revenues generated by the underground economy, and mainly incomes from escorts (Brussels has been a little bit confused and Greek GDP had ultimately been revised upwards by only 9.6 %).

The main problem faced by economists when they are trying to focus with some serious industry of escorts, is that they do not have reliable static. According to unofficial sources , sex tourism represent 5% of GDP in the Netherlands and 14% in Thailand. Even in a country like Germany, where prostitution is legal , with those who excercise a recognized status of " self-employed or employed in an institution " , entitled to unemployment insurance, the estimated number of people working in the sector vary doubled : from 200,000 to 400,000 . Even worldwide , with a number of prostitutes estimated at between 20 and 40 million. Regarding the total billing of " escorts" , he would approach in Germany € 15 billion but would reach € 18 billion in Spain ( 3 billion in France ) , the amounts are too high when compared to global revenues of prostitution who feel has "only" 100 billion euros ( and compare for example to the € 212 billion in 2012 for the luxury industry).

The second problem is that the economic approach to escorts is biased by ideological considerations . In a report , the Scelles Foundation , whose aim is to fight against sexual exploitation , estimates that " proxénete is a copy capitalist " and sees " the prostitution as the worst outcome of liberal logic." This is also the opinion of sociologist Richard Poulin , who " neoliberal globalization is dominant in today's booming escorts and trafficking of women and children for prostitution factor . The industry is at the confluence of capitalist market relations and the oppression of women , two phenomens closely intertwined . "

In a Marxist reading , sociologist Dimitra Zorgiannou seen even in prostitution a symbol of the current organization of the working world , where " casualization requires the worker or prostitute to be " flexible " and meet the requirements of each boss or client. Companies of temporal jobs, which " hire " workers , the fact that workers are consumables according to the market needs remind the basic features of the world of escort and prostitution . "

All across the idéologuique spectrum, we find economists that are thinking that the escorts market should be studied in an amoral and objective way , like any market, based on competition law and the supply and demande who controlate it . Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner , authors of the bestseller " Freakonomics " and " SuperFreakonomics " compare the pimp to a real estate agent whose job is to promote the best possible their products to potential consumers. They also observe that the escort industry has suffered greatly over the past decades , not because of relocation , but because of changing habits and sexual freedom of women. In Chicago, 20 % of men born between 1933 and 1942 had their first sexual experience with an escort . But men born twenty years later were no more than 5% in this case. " If prostitution is an industry like any other, Levitt and Dubner explain , prostitutes and escorts could hire lobbyists to fight against unfair competition from premarital sex. They would have push to criminalize this activity or to a heavy tax . "

Another subject of study, the adaptacion of escort services prices passes depending on the application (benefits , social or ethnic origin of the customer ... ) . Still in Chicago, every year a spike of sexual consumption is experienced during the Independence Day July 4 , encouraging prostitutes to increase that day their prices by 30% and extend their working hours .

To be honest , none of these two economic visions of prostitution - or anti-liberal libertarian , is convincing and illuminating to answer the question of how best to grant it legal status . Nor that sees escort to be a consequence of neoliberal globalization - oldest profession in the world existed long before the accession of China to the WTO. Or which tends instead to make it a commercial activity like any other, trivializing and ignoring constraints and violence suffered by a large number of escorts and ignores millions of wasted lives .

There are issues hard to resolve for economists.....