How to regulate prostitution

While being the oldest profession, prostitution has always been a thorn in the eyes of authorities. The market clearly says it satisfies a demand, but it goes against some moral code. Banning it has never been an efficient solution, in particular because it leads to crime and adverse health outcomes. A better way may be to regulate it in some fashion, but how?

Giovanni Immordino and Francesco Flaviano Russo may have found how, and it involves the prohibition of buying sex, but no limit on selling it. Legalizing selling sex is interesting because it allows taxing it and makes it possible to reduce STD infection rates by applying health policies. What is striking it that the policy for prostitution is the exact opposite of the policy applies in some countries for illegal drugs: decriminalizing consumption and sometimes buying but criminalizing the sale. From what I could see, this seemed to work relatively well. While the tax aspect is the same as for prostitution, the health one is different. By making drug consumption legal, one has better access to consumer to apply health policies, while sellers are of little use in this respect (except when they cut the drug with more harmful material).

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