Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In Da Club

My paper, entitled "In Da Club: An Econometric Analyis of Strip Club Patrons", is now available here.

Conservative estimates from the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) suggest 17 million Americans went to a club that featured nude or semi-nude dancers in 1991. Their attendance comprises nearly 67 million visits, 10 million more than the attendance at major league baseball games that year. A recent report by the Free Speech Coalition (2005), and recent testimony in front of the Ohio legislature by an industry advocate, Angelina Spencer, put the total revenues earned by strip clubs at 15 billion dollars a year (Smyth, 2005; Thompson, et. al., 2003). The industry arrived at this point following a doubling of the number of strip clubs between 1987 and 1992 according to Hanna (2005). Yet there has been no academic work covering this industry by economists.

In this paper I estimate a hurdle model using the NHSLS which is the first and only national probability based sample which asks people about their sexual behavior including if they have attended a strip club and the frequency of attendance. Using the hurdle model I test two popular theories which purport to explain the rapid increase in the number of clubs. I find that for those who reported changing their behavior in response to AIDS/HIV they were much more likely to go to a strip club and more frequent visitors than those who did not change their behavior. On the second explanation I fail to find support for the belief that attendance at strip clubs was motivated by the desire to escape the uncertain rules of a gender integrated work place. The rise of societal sensitivities to sexual harassment in the workplace does not appear to explain patron attendance at a strip club.

It is a very rough draft, more like some regressions and some random thoughts. Comments welcome.

1 comment:

Travis N said...

I once read an economic article for your ECO 120 class in Fall '04 that strip clubs were the last place men could go to escape not the pressure or moral necessity of respect regarding sexual situations in the mixed-gender work place as it seems you talk about in your paper, from what I read of the abstract, but they are the last place for men to go to basically not think about women. Its definitely a double edged subject, but when you look past the fact that women are putting themselves in the obvious degrading position, and look solely upon a man's view one might find that men going to strip clubs really do go there not to think about women at all. Not to have to think about what to say or do, but to say and do whatever with 100 percent masculinity. Granted you also have to get past the purely sexual nature of these clubs as well. And I’m sure everyone at a strip club isn't there for the same reason. Perversion and temptation are all part of being human as well as male. However, it was in interesting article and I thought a worthy comment.