David Jacks, Krishna Pendakur, Hitoshi Shigeoka, 16 March 2021

The year 2020 marked the centenary of Prohibition, under which the production and sale of alcohol in the US was banned for nearly 14 years. Though it required an unprecedented intervention into the nation’s economic and social fabric, there has been little quantitative analysis of Prohibition’s impact on public health. This column presents new research suggesting that a substantial increase in infant mortality followed the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s – an unanticipated, negative health outcome worth considering as debates resume over the legalisation of cannabis and other drugs.

Janet Currie, 24 January 2019

Janet Currie of Princeton University discusses how increasing access to health care prenatally and in early childhood reduces deaths and leads to long-term improvements in child and young adult outcomes.

Eva Arceo, Rema Hanna, Paulina Oliva, 16 April 2016

Pollution levels are orders of magnitude higher in lower-income countries than in the developed world. This means that studies of the health effects of pollution based on data from the latter will not necessarily be relevant to the former. This column reports on the effect of air pollution on infant mortality in Mexico City. Significant effects are found that are much larger than found in earlier work based on US data. These findings highlight the potential pitfalls of naively extrapolating findings from high-income to developing countries.

CEPR Policy Research