NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Steven A. Bednar

Elon University
Koury Business Center 124
2075 Campus Box Elon

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Elon University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018When It Rains It Pours: The Long-run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States
with Achyuta Adhvaryu, Anant Nyshadham, Teresa Molina, Quynh Nguyen: w24847
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.
 
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