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"The Dust Was Long In Settling": Human Capital and the Lasting Impact of the American Dust Bowl

Arthi, VS (2018) '"The Dust Was Long In Settling": Human Capital and the Lasting Impact of the American Dust Bowl.' Journal of Economic History, 78 (1). 196 - 230. ISSN 0022-0507

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Abstract

I find that childhood exposure to the Dust Bowl, an environmental shock to health and income, adversely impacted later-life human capital—especially when exposure was in utero—increasing poverty and disability rates, and decreasing fertility and college completion rates. The event’s devastation of agriculture, however, had the beneficial effect of increasing high school completion, likely by pushing children who otherwise might have worked on the farm into secondary schooling. Lastly, New Deal spending helped remediate Dust Bowl damage, suggesting that timely and substantial policy interventions can aid in human recovery from natural disasters.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dust Bowl, environmental shock, human capital formation, early-life health
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 14:23
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20840

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