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Dollar Drink Night: Boozing With Coworkers Could Help You Financially

Aug 17, 2007
There's a group in every office. They hit the nearby watering hole for happy hour once or twice a week after work to vent shared frustrations, talk about the boss behind his back, maybe even plot future career moves. Thumbing your nose at this carousing crew? Think twice, turning down an invite to grab a post shift drink might be hazardous to your financial future.

A recent study published by The Journal of Labor Research shows that drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more than those who avoid the bottle altogether. The reason? The study contends it's something called social capital. That is, the more you're out enjoying a drink, the more people you meet. The more people you meet, the more doors that are opened for you professionally. And as is the general rule in the business world - it's not what you know, it's who you know.

The study contends that specifically, it's drinkers who hit the bar that see the most benefits financially, as opposed to those who tip the glass at home. It's all about social capital, which the study defines as "a person's social characteristics, including social skills, charisma, and the size of his Rolodex, which enable him to reap market and nonmarket returns from interactions with others." Drinkers who hit the bars have a lot of it, drinkers who sip alone have a little less, nondrinkers have less yet.

The study argues that it's possible that abstainers may steer clear of social occasions involving drinking, and if not, they will socialize with other nondrinkers or less social people. It's also possible that abstainers might be considered boring by drinkers, and not be invited to a gathering at all. Those who drink socially may have an easier time attaining a higher paying job or reinforce bonds with coworkers or associates who could have a direct impact on salary. Though the reasons behind nondrinkers' lack of social capital weren't specifically tackled in the study, one thing is clear-drinkers earn significantly more than those who abstain.

For example, female drinkers pull in 14 percent more than their nondrinking counterparts. Men who hit the bottle regularly earn 10 percent more than guys who stick with soft drinks.

The pot gets even sweeter for males who hit their favorite watering hole on a regular basis. Men who visited a bar at least once a month earned an additional 7 percent over the 10 percent advantage. That isn't the case for women barflies, however. No marked advantage was shown for ladies who visited pubs regularly over those who did not.

Though not sponsored by any interests in the alcohol industry, the study was conducted as a response to recent anti alcohol campaigns on college campuses, limits on alcohol advertising, and tax increases on liquor. Authors of the study contend that since their research shows that drinkers earn significantly more than nondrinkers, perhaps attempting to discourage drinking in society might have a negative impact on our ability to earn.

So next time your cubicle partner asks you to join the crew for a drink after work, think twice before you pass. According to the stats, it might be to your benefit to say "First round's on me".
About the Author
Joseph Kenny writes for the Personal Loans Store, allowing visitors to compare UK loans and also information on business loans in the UK.
Visit Today: http://www.ukpersonalloanstore.co.uk
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