Death Takes a Payday: Getting Paid Can Mean Permanent Termination
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Looking forward to payday? Maybe you'd better circle that date in red. According to new research by a team at Lund University and The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, getting paid may be hazardous to your health. A significant increase in premature deaths is related to paydays.
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The researchers analyzed the correlation of salary payments and mortality among Swedish public sector employees during a six-year period, from 1995-2000. Accounting for coincidental dates of holidays or "other days were mortality is exceptionally high or low for reasons unrelated to salary receipt," the researchers considered a total of about 22% of the entire Swedish workforce.
"Our findings indicate that the mortality consequences of salary receipt are large," the team concluded. "We find a 23% increase in total mortality, corresponding to approximately 96 premature deaths per year if extended to include the entire Swedish working-age population, on the day that salary payments arrive."
Apparently for some, payday can mean termination. Literally. The increase in mortality is not followed by a subsequent decline, the researchers say, but is mainly comprised of additional premature deaths. The study also reveals that an overwhelming number of the increased deaths fully 83% -- are due to circulatory conditions. Heart conditions (67%) and strokes (119%) increase substantially.
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Perhaps most shocking of all, the phenomenon is not related to crusty old "I'll-never-retire" big-shot executives in the corner offices cashing their last ticket. It's particular driven by an increase in deaths for low-income individuals and younger workers. Payday increases mortality rates for 18 to 35-year-olds by an astonishing 164%.
A suggested cause is the fact that we indulge on paydays, the report says.
"A number of studies show that households increase their time-sensitive consumption, such as purchases of perishable goods (e.g., fresh food) and instant consumption items, (e.g., restaurant meals and admissions for entertainment events), upon an anticipated income receipt," the researchers said.
That's behavior contrary to our normal daily activity, especially for households with lower incomes or tight budgets as well as younger workers.
Perhaps the best solution is to take the day off and sign up for direct deposit.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet