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

Achyuta Adhvaryu (), Steven Bednar, Anant Nyshadham, Teresa Molina and Quynh Nguyen

No 24847, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

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.

JEL-codes: I15 I18 J24 N32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma
Note: CH DAE LS
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Published as Achyuta Adhvaryu & Steven Bednar & Teresa Molina & Quynh Nguyen & Anant Nyshadham, 2020. "When It Rains It Pours: The Long-Run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, vol 102(2), pages 395-407.

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