Can getting a big check in the mail kill you?

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Researchers and retailers have documented that consumption declines before the receipt of income, and then rises afterwards. In this paper, we identify a related phenomenon, where mortality rises immediately after 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, and occurs for a large number of causes of death.

Source: “The short-term mortality consequences of income receipt” from Journal of Public Economics

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