The Developmental Effect of State Alcohol Prohibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century
Mary F. Evans
Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance
Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; RAND
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
University of Pennsylvania
March 17, 2014
U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 14-26
Claremont McKenna College Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper
We exploit the quasi-randomization of alcohol consumption created by state-level alcohol prohibition laws passed in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century. Using a large dataset of World War II enlistees, we exploit the differential timing of these laws to examine their effects on adult height, educational attainment, and obesity. We find statistically significant effects for all three outcome variables that do not appear to be the result of pre-existing trends. Our findings add to the growing body of economic studies that examine the long-run impacts of in utero and childhood environmental conditions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: fetal origins, hypothesis, alcohol prohibition, World War II
JEL Classification: I18, D10, N41, N42
Date posted: July 14, 2014 ; Last revised: August 20, 2014
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