Getting Paid Might Kill You?

from the studies-for-the-fun-of-it dept

Okay, I don’t have much of a comment on this one either way, other than that I found it to be quite an amusing topic for study, and thought some of you might appreciate it as well — for the humor factor. Via Paul Kedrosky comes the news of an NBER research paper that found that people tend to die right after getting paid. Well, sorta:

Many studies find that households increase their consumption after the receipt of expected income payments, a result inconsistent with the life-cycle/permanent income hypothesis. Consumption can increase adverse health events, such as traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes. In this paper, we examine the short-term mortality consequences of income receipt. We find that mortality increases following the arrival of monthly Social Security payments, regular wage payments for military personnel, the 2001 tax rebates, and Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payments. The increase in short-run mortality is large, potentially eliminating some of the protective benefits of additional income.

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Comments on “Getting Paid Might Kill You?”

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moore850 says:

You can't collect if you're dead

Isn’t it way, way more likely that these are people who died within a few days and the relatives just didn’t report it so they could get that last paycheck? I know there are stories of people who have done this deliberately for years to collect the soc sec benefits, but doing it to get the one last check seems like something a whole lot of people would probably do.

iamtheky (profile) says:

Heres more breaking news: People get in more traffic accidents after putting gas in their car.

“Many studies find that households increase their consumption”

“Consumption can increase adverse health events”

therefore getting paid causes more deaths? All without actually seeing the data that lead to the far-reaching conclusion.

neither tech nor dirt, imho.

LostSailor (profile) says:

It's not about getting paid

It’s what you do with the moolah after you get it. The bender at the pub and the drive home. The supersized Big Macs.

But I’d like to propose and experiment to determine if the amount of the payday has an effect on mortality. Since I haven’t died yet at my current rate of compensation, I propose to increase it by 20% each week until I die. Any takers? It’s all for science. I’ll be happy to report the results here, copyright free of course.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Alcohol Poisoning.

There are a number of cases of strong young men, fraternity boys, dying of heart attacks after consuming two bottles of whiskey, say $150 worth, during pledging. With an older guy, it doesn’t necessarily take that much.

I used to know an old guy, who lived across the stairwell from me when I was living in urban Philadelphia, getting on for twenty years ago. Well every so often, his bad-news godson would turn up with a bottle of whiskey, and a druggie streetwalker. The old guy drank enough that the first time I saw him lying passed out, I thought he had had a heart attack. His skin was gray. The bottle of whiskey was sitting on the table, maybe about half finished, though, granted, the scapegrace godson and the naughty woman had some. Well, we pulled the old guy to his feet, and made him walk around a little, to make sure he was all right, before putting him back on the sofa, and I still had my doubts about whether I oughtn’t to have called the ambulance anyway. After several hours, to my relief, he was awake with a furiously red face, a hangover and a splitting headache, and in a screaming rage at all and sundry.

This happened a few more times, and I had the unlovely job of running the undesirables off the premises. The streetwalker was a veritable weasel, and she had figured out that the old guy was a rabbit, so she hung about for a few days after each drinking bout, waiting for the chance to commit a robbery. So she had to be ordered to leave. In that kind of situation, you never quite know whether someone has a gun or not, but you have to give orders as if you were entirely sure of yourself. You have your orders, and you are profoundly indifferent to all pleas, excuses, suggestions, hints, threats, expostulations, exclamations, objurgations, etc. You repeat yourself over and over, without raising your voice or otherwise showing anger, and each time, the objectionable person retreats about two feet. By this process, you eventually back them out the door.

So the idea of payday mortality doesn’t particularly surprise me.

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