The Developmental Effect of State Alcohol Prohibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century
Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming
48 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2015 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019
Date Written: September 21, 2015
We examine 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 educational attainment, obesity, and height. We find statistically significant effects for education and obesity that do not appear to be the result of pre-existing trends. Our findings add to the growing body of economic studies that examines 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