Call for papers to Feminist Economics

Feminist Economics Journal

The journal Feminist Economics is producing a special issue on ‘Sex Work and Trafficking’ and has issued the following call for papers:

‘Economists have paid relatively sparse attention to the sex industry, despite its size and financial importance. Moreover, feminists remain deeply divided on the issue of agency. The debate between the “sex-work” and “abolitionist” lobbies suggests a strict dichotomy between work and exploitation. Yet existing studies suggest that the industry comprises a continuum of different degrees of agency and in this way resembles other forms of market-based work.

The special issue, planned for online publication in 2015 and print publication in 2016 (contingent on funding), will focus on theoretical analyses of sex work, evaluations of alternative policy regimes, and the emergence of new sexual services and markets. With the expansion of male, gay, and transgendered sex work, analyses that emphasise sex work as a contract between class categories (men and women) may be unduly one-sided. In addition, more valuable insights may be provided by conceptualisations that highlight the caring labour and emotional aspects of sex work and its role in constructing and preserving gender identities. Economic analyses that draw analytical concepts from anthropology, sociology, or law are also encouraged. Given the speed at which markets for sex have spread worldwide, Feminist Economics especially welcomes contributions from the Global South and transition economics.’


Contributions may cover diverse topics, including but not limited to:

·       Types of exchanges in sex work (contractual, relational, survival, gendered); the role of stigma; skills, emotions, and risks

·       Continuity/discontinuity between different types of sex-based and sexual-economic exchanges (marriage versus sex work; sex work versus pornography)

·       Bargaining power and informational asymmetries in sex work and trafficking; the role of clients

·       Migration, human trafficking, and emerging markets for sex work; blurred boundaries between marriage migration, labor migration, sex tourism, and sexual harassment

·       Market segmentation and the role of technology

·       The politics of representation among sex workers and clients



Deadline for abstracts: 
Please direct queries and abstracts (500 words maximum) to: Guest Editors, Francesca Bettio (, Marina Della Giusta (, and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers (, no later than 15 August 2013.

If the Guest Editors approve an abstract, the complete manuscript will be due 1 April 2014 and should be submitted to Feminist Economics through the submissions website

Questions about these procedures may be sent to, +1.713.348.4083 (phone), or +1.713.348.5495 (fax).