The average income of elite escorts in the United States who has worked 2, 000 hours in a year would put her in the top 0.5 per cent in the country’s earnings distribution. For years, it has been a mystery as to why these women are generating a per hour income average of $280 to basically do what the rest of us do for free.

Little research has been done that can claim to explain why escorts are paid high salary premium. There are even fewer data to support some theories that do make those claims. There is one theory though that argues that becoming a sex worker gives a serious restriction to a woman’s future when it comes to marriage prospects and that the salary premium to their job as a sex provider is a compensation for having made that choice. The data on earnings propose that those women working on the streets, who have even more restrictions in the marriage prospects, need little recompense to motivate them to forgo marriage and enter the sex industry. Escorts, on one hand, came from a socio-economic group where there are better chances for marriage prospects and are therefore paid a healthier premium to enter the industry.

In an attempt to support this theory, a data has been collected recently from workers in the sex industry rating sites on over 40, 000 sex workers in both the United States and Canada. The data shows that escorts’ earnings increases when they are in their twenties. Their income will start to decrease once they age after 30 years old. This supports the marriage theory that as a woman age, they face a bigger risk of not being able to get married and therefore need to be compensated more to dishearten them from leaving the sex industry in favour of the marriage market. When a woman enters her 30s, though, her future marriage prospects are restricted that she needs less compensation to stay on the sex industry.

The earning difference per transaction of an escort between the ages of 18 to 20 and an escort who is almost 30 years old is about 7 per cent, which is equivalent to around $18. That’s an annual difference of $10, 000 for an escort who is seeing at least 3 clients per night and working at least 15 nights a month. It is said that an escort’s earning decreases as she age but increases as she gain experience. When an escort is in her 20s, the second effect will dominate, wherein experience will increase her earnings. However, when 30s hits them, the first effect will dominate, wherein aging will decrease their earnings by more than experience increases it.

This data suggests that how an escort paid is determined by the escorts themselves. It also suggests that the sex industry is a competitive market where the clients use a variety of escorts.