I had lunch yesterday with an economist friend of mine who was lamenting the fact that when a market fails to operate efficiently we sometimes advocate for policy intervention without stopping to see if that policy actually improves the outcome.  He was talking about his own work that looks at the adult outcomes of boys who spend time during their teen years in foster care, which is itself an extremely interesting topic. I thought we would look at a different topic for which a similar argument could be made: laws that limit the age at which an individual can consent to having sex, and the protection they provide.

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