The Developmental Effect of State Alcohol Prohibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century

48 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2015 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019

See all articles by Mary F. Evans

Mary F. Evans

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Eric Helland

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; RAND

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Ashwin Patel

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: September 21, 2015

Abstract

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

Evans, Mary F. and Helland, Eric A. and Klick, Jonathan and Patel, Ashwin, The Developmental Effect of State Alcohol Prohibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century (September 21, 2015). Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 15-33; Claremont McKenna College Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2664768

Mary F. Evans (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909.607.3423 (Phone)

Eric A. Helland

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909-607-7275 (Phone)
909-621-8243 (Fax)

RAND ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2157463455 (Phone)

Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Ashwin Patel

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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