Dying on payday

And this is from the relatively egalitarian Sweden:

In this paper, we study the short-run effect of salary receipt on mortality among Swedish public sector employees. By exploiting variation in pay-days across work-places, we completely control for mortality patterns related to, for example, public holidays and other special days or events coinciding with paydays and for general within-month and within-week mortality patterns. We find a dramatic increase in mortality on the day salaries arrive. The increase is especially pronounced for younger workers and for deaths due to activity-related causes such as heart conditions and strokes. Additionally, the effect is entirely driven by an increase in mortality among low income individuals, who are more likely to experience liquidity constraints. All things considered, our results suggest that an increase in general economic activity upon salary receipt is an important cause of the excess mortality.

The authors are Elvira Andersson, Petter Lundborg, and Johan Vikström, the pdf is here, hat tip goes to Ben Southwood.

Comments

"We find a dramatic increase in mortality on the day salaries arrive. The increase is especially pronounced for younger workers and for deaths due to activity-related causes such as heart conditions and strokes. Additionally, the effect is entirely driven by an increase in mortality among low income individuals"

See! Low income workers would be better off if payday never came.

http://amaris-the-demon.deviantart.com/art/Milton-Meme-403924321

"among low income individuals, who are more likely to experience liquidity constraints"

I wonder if the wording was intentional, because I'm guessing the effect is the result of low income people not being able to buy drink until payday when it is now possible to binge drink because liquidity means being able to buy lots of liquid happiness.

Those paid more are able to drink liquids all the time, so they get past the binge drinking stage fastest and payday no longer lifts the restrictions on liquids,

My analogy better fits current events. Milton wasn't the only one burning down buildings. See Ferguson, MO.

But all they are doing is exchanging one liquid asset for another -- just a personal QE.

Argues for pay by the day.

A startup which seems to enable this is 'Active Hours':

https://www.activehours.com/

Cryptocurrencies also make it comparatively easy to pay like clockwork, in arbitrarily-small increments, automatically.

>pay by the day.

Then EVERYBODY will die on payday. How's that going to help?

LOL!!!

Or, "doing stuff is dangerous relative to doing nothing."

If they would only adopt Obama's foreign policy mantra.....

This is all very enlightening.

I think they have changed our system now, but not so long ago welfare cheques were all delivered on the same Wednesday. This led to a phenomenon locally known as "Mardi Gras" in the local lowest-income neighbourhood. No correlation with mortality that I know of, but emergency services got pretty busy.

The phenomenon of partying on payday is probably pretty common. I'd bet I t's income correlated not only because the rich can party whenever they want, but also because not wanting to party until you throw up is correlated with getting richer.

Maybe you mean "Mercredi Gras"?

Irish wives have been know to pick up their husbands paychecks.

Racist.

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

Read the paper:

"no evidence of substance-related mortality increasing"

Yeah, I can't figure out how exactly they came to that conclusion. They didn't actually identify the cause of death for each individual public employee (the study population), but instead somehow integrated aggregate cause-of-death data for public employees into their model. Furthermore, they didn't discuss any adjustments for unidentified substance-abuse causes among the circulatory-related deaths - a real possibility unless it's Swedish policy to do a toxicological exam on each death and to then correct the death certificate when the results finally do come in. Mind you, I wouldn't be shocked if that actually is the policy in Sweden, but it would be nice if there were a little more discussion on this matter since substance-abuse on payday is the most obvious explanation for the increased mortality, and this study seems to just kind of hand-wave it away.

Welfare can eliminate poverty.

There is an expression in Swedish - "lönehelg" - the salary weekend. It's about all the spending of money when the salary arrives. In their regular lives, surprisingly many Swedes live paycheck to paycheck (there is the state to cover for many emergencies), and hence getting the salary makes for a noticeable change in discretionary spending, including alcohol.

In Sweden - as in many other European countries - salaries are almost exclusively paid monthly, even for low-wage hourly jobs. compared to a society where salaries are paid weekly or bi-weekly, this makes the salary payday a more important event for the liquidity of each wage-earner, but also a more important collective event since most wage-earners are paid at around the same day of the month. the timing of each month's "lönehelg" is very important in workforce planning for a lot of services and businesses (bars, shops, taxi, retail banking, ATMs, etc.).

Dubner on early retirement

Josef Zweimuller: I mean actually what we find in our study is that among blue-collar workers, we see that workers who retire earlier have higher mortality rates. And these effects are pretty large.
...

A lot of them cardiovascular, likely due to things like more smoking and drinking, worse diet, not enough exercise. But there's also evidence to show it goes beyond the physical, that working longer is tied to better mental health as well.

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