The Developmental Effect of State Alcohol Prohibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century
44 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2014 Last revised: 20 Aug 2014
Date Written: March 17, 2014
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.
Keywords: fetal origins, hypothesis, alcohol prohibition, World War II
JEL Classification: I18, D10, N41, N42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation