How did U.S. Prohibition affect human capital? An analysis of long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure Open Access

Zhang, Ruhan (2015)

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Using data from IPUMS 1960-80 U.S. Census, this paper evaluates how human capital changes under a nationwide alcohol consumption reduction. Before the United States Constitution first introduced the national ban of alcoholic beverages, every state had established different levels of local option laws and even state laws of similar kinds. The introduction of the Eighteenth Amendment and the repeal of it in the Twenty-first Amendment provide a natural experimental framework for examining how maternal prenatal alcohol exposure can possibly generate huge long-term differences among children. Census data reveal that cohorts in utero when the law was strongly enforced show significantly reduced rates of physical disability, increased educational attainment, and higher possibility of marriage.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Historical Background 3

Literature Review 5

Data and Empirical Models 8

Discussions 14

Limitations 18

Conclusions 19

References 20

Tables and Figures 24

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