“It’s that second paycheck that’s the real killer, demonstrably more deadly than the first.”

— WILLIAM EVANS, Notre Dame economist whose research shows people are more likely to die in the days after receiving a paycheck [via Freakonomics]

Death by paycheck? Sounds absurd. Getting a paycheck, one would presume, is much better for one’s health than not getting a paycheck. But the numbers indicate a rise in mortality in the days after payday.

Evans, whose research is being published soon in the Journal of Public Economics, explains why the second paycheck often results in a spike in mortality rates, especially among counties with a large military presence, where “you have some partying issues there”:

We figure that when the first check comes, you have all your bills to pay, so that check is earmarked for those activities. You have a much freer disposal of the income from your second check.

Evans gives the gist of his studies, and the correlation between death and when people get paid, in this video:


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