Daily Archives: August 8, 2014

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The cover feature of this week’s Economist – bearing the headline “More bang for your buck” – explores how new technology is shaking up the world’s oldest profession.

Noting how specialist websites and apps are allowing “information to flow between buyer and seller”, the magazine has conducted an economic analysis of what this “wealth of data” reveals.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has crunched data on prostitutes’ prices, services and personal characteristics gleaned from an [anonymous] international website which hosts 190,000 profiles of female sex workers operating from 84 cities in 12 countries:

[Prostitution] turns out to be surprisingly similar to other service industries. Prostitutes’ personal characteristics and the services they offer influence the prices they charge; niche services attract a premium; and the internet is making it easier to work flexible hours and to forgo a middleman.

So what does this reveal? 

By Tom Burgis, Caroline Nevitt, and Martin Stabe

Chinese investment in postwar Angola set the template for major infrastructure deals in Africa over the past decade. FT’s Tom Burgis explains Beijing’s quest for a continent’s resources. 

Interactive map by Jennifer Bissell

The interactive map below, based on data from International Rivers, shows the 24 dam projects in Africa that involve either Chinese sources of finance or Chinese developers or construction firms.

Base map design: Mapbox, Base map data: OpenStreetMap contributors