Document Type


Publication Date



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.


fetal origins hypothesis, alcohol prohibition, World War II

Publication Title

Economic Inquiry

Publication Citation

Economic Inquiry, forthcoming