In 1924, the Morton Salt Company began nationwide distribution of iodine-fortified salt. Access 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.
© 2019 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The World Bank
The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The World Bank
rest_a_00822-esupp- pdf file