When it Rains it Pours: The Long-Run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States

70 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018

See all articles by Achyuta Adhvaryu

Achyuta Adhvaryu

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Steven Bednar

Elon University

Anant Nyshadham

Boston College - Department of Economics

Teresa Molina

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Quynh Nguyen

World Bank

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

In 1924, The Morton Salt Company began nationwide distribution of iodine-fortified salt. Ac- cess to iodine, a key determinant of cognitive ability, rose sharply. We compare outcomes for cohorts exposed in utero with those of slightly older, unexposed cohorts, across states with high versus low baseline iodine deficiency. Income increased by 11%; labor force participation rose 0.68 percentage points; and full-time work went up 0.9 percentage points due to increased iodine availability. These impacts were largely driven by changes in the economic outcomes of young women. In later adulthood, both men and women had higher family incomes due to iodization.

Suggested Citation

Adhvaryu, Achyuta and Bednar, Steven and Nyshadham, Anant and Molina, Teresa and Nguyen, Quynh, When it Rains it Pours: The Long-Run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24847, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3218098

Achyuta Adhvaryu (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Steven Bednar

Elon University ( email )

Anant Nyshadham

Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Teresa Molina

University of Hawaii at Manoa ( email )

2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI NA 96822
United States

Quynh Nguyen

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
17
Abstract Views
366
PlumX Metrics