Economist: Prostitutes Are Cheaper Than Wives Over 20 Years

Shelling out $200 or more to have sex with a prostitute is an expensive way for men to get their rocks off but it’s much cheaper than getting married, an economist says.

Matthew Barnes of the University of Chicago says it’s pricier by a factor of 10 for men to get sex regularly through marriage than to hire a prostitute on a regular basis. Behind the huge gap are the long-term costs associated with marriage—mortgage, college, groceries, vacations, clothes—that don’t apply to a weekly fling with a prostitute.

“There’s more to marriage than just sex, but strictly from an economics standpoint, if the primary reason that men marry is to have a steady outlet for sex, then they’re much better off just having sex with a prostitute, says Barnes, lead author of a study that appears this month in Economics Journal.

Barnes and his research team compared the costs of getting and staying married for a 20-year period to 20 years of weekly sex with a prostitute at $200 a pop. Barnes says $200 is the median price for sex with a prostitute who prices her services at the midpoint of the market in the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States. High-priced hookers and drug-addicted street walkers weren’t included in the sampling.


Ian Cioffi