Excessive drinking during pregnancy is known to harm the foetus, but estimating the effects of moderate prenatal alcohol consumption is difficult, since mothers who choose to drink may differ systematically from those who do not. This column presents recent research showing that a genetic variant in a maternal alcohol-metabolising gene (ADH1B) is negatively related to prenatal alcohol exposure, and unrelated to any of the background characteristics associated with prenatal drinking. Using this genetic variant as an ‘instrumental variable’, the authors find strong negative effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on child educational achievement.
There is growing evidence that adverse infant health can have lasting effects on human capital formation and economic outcomes in adulthood. Among others, the poor environmental conditions have been linked to increased infant mortality and poor health. This column looks at the long-run effects of early-life pollution exposure. Using the Clean Air Act enacted in 1970 as a policy experiment, the study finds an association between reduced pollution and labour-market outcomes 30 years later. Reduced-pollution increases labour-force participation rate for affected individuals, which translates into a 1% increase in annual earning for an average individual in a cohort.
Sleep is a key determinant of educational attainment among young adults, and carries with it longstanding health implications. This column provides evidence of network effects in adolescent sleeping decisions using a novel econometric approach. Young adults respond to the sleeping behaviour of their peer group, holding constant other observables. This compounding effect suggests a group approach to solving behavioural problems associated with sleep deprivation.
The effects of Medicaid on health are still unclear even though the programme is 50 years old. This column presents new evidence that quantifies the effect of the programme at the time of its implementation on children’s health. By the end of the 1970s, Medicaid had saved about 25,000 lives among nonwhite children, reducing their mortality rates by 8%, and narrowing the racial mortality gap. The tremendous benefits of Medicaid on lives of children from disadvantages groups should be taken into account in the policy debates about curtailing the programme.
The decriminalisation of cannabis is a policy that divides policymakers sharply. This column uses evidence from the Netherlands to show a positive connection between early cannabis use and easy access to cannabis through coffeeshops. The policy implications, however, require further research. Closing coffeeshops could result in some potential users searching in the black market where hard drugs are available as well.
Other Recent Articles:
- The future of Japan’s Long-term Care Insurance Program
- An equilibrium model of the African HIV/AIDS epidemic
- Physical activity and health
- Should we promote ‘healthy choices’ or ‘healthy environments’?
- Public investments for long-term economic growth: the case of health
- Health insurance, innovation, and technology adoption
- Free to choose?
- Lasting effects of childhood health in developing countries
- Are fruit and vegetables good for your mental health as well as your physical health?
- Healthcare: The US presidential policy debate
- Market design: An interview with Nobel laureate Alvin Roth
- Who lives longer and why
- Physical education and childhood obesity
- How to improve healthcare at no extra cost
- A demographic consequence of the First World War
- Healthcare reform: Difficult but not impossible
- The incompleteness of long-term care insurance
- Rethinking the ‘war on drugs’: Insights from the US and Mexico
- Fatal attraction? Access to early retirement and mortality
- Anorexia and bulimia: New evidence from European women
- A tale of two depressions: What do the new data tell us? February 2010 updateEichengreen, O’Rourke
- The ECB’s stealth bailoutSinn
- Educated in America: College graduates and high school dropoutsHeckman, LaFontaine
- Eurozone breakup would trigger the mother of all financial crisesEichengreen
- Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implicationsDe Grauwe, Ji
DellaVigna, Durante, Knight, La Ferrara
Ostry, Berg, Tsangarides
Allen, Eichengreen, Evans
Greenwood, Guner, Kocharakov, Santos
CEPR Policy Research
- The buyer margins of firms' exportsCarballo, Ottaviano, Volpe
- Commodity and Equity Markets: Some Stylized Facts from a Copula ApproachDelatte, Lopez
- Ethnic Unemployment Rates and Frictional MarketsGobillon, Rupert, Wasmer
- Finance and Poverty: Evidence from IndiaAyyagari, Beck, Hoseini
- The Manipulation of Basel Risk-WeightsMariathasan, Merrouche
- Making city lights shine brighterYusuf, Leipziger
- The euro in the 'currency war'Bénassy-Quéré, Martin
- The roots of shadow bankingPerotti
- What’s wrong with Europe?Baldini, Manasse
- How the EZ crisis is permanently changing EU institutionsMicossi
- 21st Century Challenges: The Mobile Middle Class13 - 13 March 2014 / Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7 London / Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
- The 13th Annual GEP Postgraduate Conference 20141 - 2 May 2014 / Nottingham / Sponsored by Nottingham Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP) University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
- Exchange Rates and External Adjustment2 - 3 June 2014 / Zurich / Swiss National Bank
- 13th Summer School in International Development Econom