Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Alcohol Prohibition

  • Nicholas A. SnowEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_626


Alcohol prohibition was a period from 1920 to 1933 in the United States of America where the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating beverages was made illegal.

Alcohol Prohibition

The national prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States of America lasted from January 16, 1920 to December 5, 1933. This period of time has become known as the “Noble Experiment,” a phrase coined by President Herbert Hoover. Alcohol prohibition was instituted by the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which stated, “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” The Volstead Act was put into place for the purpose of enforcing this constitutional amendment. The experiment was meant to alleviate the various social ills that many perceived alcoholic...

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Further Reading

  1. Okrent D (2010) Last call: the rise and fall of prohibition. Scribner, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Thornton M (1991) The economics of prohibition. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA