Monday, January 22, 2007

If I was a drunk man

From the latest issue of the Atlantic:

Drinking may impair your motor skills and romantic judgment, but—if you’re a man, at least—it can fatten your wallet, two new studies suggest. In the first, a pair of health economists found that American males who drank heavily when they were tenth-graders in 1990 earned more money in 2000, on average, than their peers who were teetotalers as teens. (The researchers found no such link for women.) Meanwhile, a study from the libertarian Reason Foundation reports that self-described drinkers (male and female) earn 10 percent to 14 percent more than nondrinkers. Drinking, the authors argue, may help build the kinds of social networks that lead to workplace success. The Reason study also finds that men who frequent bars at least once a month earn a further 7 percent wage boost. For women, however, regular barhopping has no discernible effect—on earnings, anyway.

Dammit, I knew I should have spent more time getting drunk in college.

***

While I go drown my sorrows in alcohol, you too can be depressed - go check out the growing list of potential sources of sublime misery over at the Guardian blog. Good stuff, though why someone would watch Sasom i en spegel when Nattvardsgasterna or Skammen were available is beyond me.

Oh, and here's my review of Martin Amis' House of Meetings. A depressingly amateur one, given that I actually read the book the whole way through before I reviewed it (which, apparently, is no longer the done thing). Sigh.


9 comments:

bongopondit said...

There are problems with the drinking-salary correlation studies.
See this

Of course, drinking by itself requires very little excuse.

Falstaff said...

bongopundit: Not really. As long as you recognise that we're talking correlation, not causality, I don't know that there's an issue. Obviously there's no evidence for causality here, but no one is seriously suggesting there is, are they?

Anonymous said...

yes but cries and whispers beats all three I think. saraband was cruel too but it was too cruel to be really depressing...

nice idea for a list...

Anonymous said...

On the subject of reviews....weren't you going to rant about Babel on Momus??!! Please do...I love you rants. And I hated that movie....such a waste of time...

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that causality in the direction of "Drink More -> Earn More" is almost certainly non-existent. Like you said, a simple correlation is definitely present.

More likely than not a causation in the "Earn More -> Drink More" direction does exist. That is, you earn more implies you are richer implies you have more money to spend on alcohol [implies your children have more money to spend on alcohol in high school].

However, let's discuss this AFTER we're drunk. (And possibly thereby richer!) :)

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting point about the correlation between drinking and earning...but how authentic is it really? do these researches have any statistical significance? Being into research yourself probably you could give us the inside dope...
I mean as a "lay man" I can logically see the connect between drinking (socializing) to better networking ( there is nothing like "smoke buddies" as they say..and no I don't smoke..) and well more often than better opportunities. This is plausible logically..so what does the research actually do anyway? plug in the numbers? :)
I know it's not too simplistic but most of these researches seem quite logical to me and no not necessarily in hindsight...

-TMWWT

Falstaff said...

alok: Ah, yes. The trouble with cries and whispers is that it's too beautiful to be really depressing. It would be like being depressed over a Rembrandt painting

szerelem: Yes, I did, didn't I? Will get to it. Promise.

arnold: Oh, I think there are plenty of potential reasons for the correlation. Parent's income may be one of them, but there could be many others - to the extent that drinking is self-financed, the kids who drink could also be the kids who get summer jobs and start making money earlier. Though I have to say I find the social networking hypothesis entirely plausible.

TMWWT: I suppose I really should read the studies. Will write about when / if I get around to it.

km said...

Dammit, I knew I should have spent more time getting drunk in college

Any more time and I would have graduated with an AA+.

/Sorry, had to be said :)

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be "If I WERE a drunk man?"

n!