Cohen, Andreea Balan (2007). Sobering up: the impact of the 1985–1988 Russian anti-alcohol campaign on child health
. Tufts University.
This paper estimates the impact of parental alcohol consumption on child health by taking advantage of a unique shock to alcohol supply: the 1985 to 1988 alcohol prohibition campaign in Russia. This campaign was temporally short lived, and resulted in large amounts of exogenous geographic variation in its intensity and effectiveness. I construct a new data set that combines the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey with regional data on alcohol consumption. I find significant improvements in child height, immunization rates, and chronic conditions among children born during prohibition who also lived in regions with effective anti-alcohol campaigns. I find no effect on children born either before or after prohibition. This confirms the effect of investments during a child’s first three years of life on long-term health measures, and demonstrates a potential positive effect of suppressing parental access to alcohol. Furthermore, evidence from vaccination rates suggests that the positive effect of prohibition on child health occurred through improvements in parental time, rather than income resources.
Cohen, Andreea Balan