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A Dam Problem: TVA's Fight Against Malaria, 1926–1951

  • Carl Kitchens (a1)

The TVA has been applauded for its anti-malaria programs in the Southeast during the 1930s and 1940s. However, the TVA developed their anti-malaria programs because they created lakes suitable for mosquito breeding. To estimate the relationship between the TVA and malaria, I construct a county-level panel data from the Southeast United States. I find that the net effect of the TVA was to increase malaria rates following its construction. Using statistical life value estimates, I find that the hidden malaria cost of the TVA offset 24 percent of the fiscal stimulus multiplier generated by the TVA.

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The author would like to the editor, Jean Laurent Rosenthal, for helpful comments as well as two anonymous referees for their feedback. I would also like to that my dissertation chair, Price Fishback for his guidance during this project. Additionally, I would like to thank Paul Rhode, Ron Oaxaca, Jonah Gelbach, Taylor Jaworski, Theresa Gutberlet, Briggs Depew, and Jonathan Fox for comments and feedback in various stages of this article, and seminar participants at the University of Tennessee, University of Arizona, University of California Merced, University of Michigan, United States Military Academy, University of Mississippi, as well as participants at the 2011 ASSA meetings, 2010 Economic History Association Meetings, and NBER DAE 2011.

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