Calculating the value of prostitution

marinadellaguista.jpgThere are many theories about prostitution. The theory devised by Marina Della Giusta, Maria Laura Di Tommaso and Steinar Strom is one of the few that involves partial differential equations. Sure, they could, if they wished, describe prostitution in words. But for scholars who want to explain prostitution, differential calculus may be the clearest language.

stromste.jpgThese three economists are based in the UK, Italy and Norway. Della Giusta teaches at the University of Reading, Di Tommaso at the University of Turin, and Strom jointly at the University of Turin and the University of Oslo. They make their case in a report published two years ago. It begins by summarising the ways in which other economists explain prostitution. Here’s a summary of their summary: those other economists are wrong….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

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