Prostitution: Policy Options for Reform

21Aug

Prostitution is illegal in the United States and most countries around the world but this hasn't caused the market for sex to disappear. Instead, like in any black market, criminalization drives the industry underground where contracts can't be enforced and the parties involved have few means to ensure their safety. Perhaps the primary concern should be making sure the workers and customers are protected. In that case, what can we learn about the experiences of different developed countries to see what the ideal policies are for America?

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The Economics of Sleep

15Aug

Economic methodology is usually used to predict things like an individual's likely income, life expectancy, or expected happiness based on variables like gender, race, years of schooling, religion, or profession. These same techniques can be used to predict how much an individual will sleep. Even though sleep is a non-market activity, we can think of it as one of many different options of what an individual can do in the limited 24 hours a day. We explore what research predicts about sleep patterns based on different demographic variables.

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Sweatshops: Exploitation or a Step Towards Industrialization?

24Jul

Sweatshops in many ways epitomize the perceived evils of globalization: Multi-national corporations in developed countries use extremely cheap labor in harsh working conditions to produce goods the workers can't even afford. What can consumers in developed countries do to help? Do we have an incomplete view of sweatshops? We discuss the effects of anti-sweatshop efforts and talk about sweatshops' role economically for developing countries historically and today.

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