Most Influential Research of 2017 by Economists

Dr. Manisha Shah of CHIPTS’ Policy Impact Core at UCLA and Dr. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University recently published their paper entitled, “Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health,” in The Review of Economic Studies.   Based on their work, they were recognized as one of Quartz’s “13 economists on the research that shaped our world in 2017.”  Their work found that when Rhode Island legislature inadvertently decriminalized indoor prostitution in the state, it was linked to fewer reported STD cases and rape offenses.

Economist Jennifer Doleac of University of Virginia says, “This paper uses an unusual natural experiment in Rhode Island to measure the effect of decriminalizing indoor prostitution on public health, and the findings will surprise many… When indoor prostitution suddenly became legal, reported rape offenses fell by 30% and female gonorrhea incidence fell by over 40%. Perhaps it’s time to rethink our current policies in this area.”

Visit Quartz’s website to read the full list of 13 economists on the research that shaped our world in 2017.