Weird things that can affect your salary

Alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption © Oleg Mikhaylov/

Happy hour has been part of the American workplace for generations. It turns out this may not have been a waste of time.

Bethany Peters, an economist at the Dallas-based consulting firm Analysis Group, and Edward Stringham, an economist at San Jose State University, say that social drinkers tend to have higher salaries than others. They found that drinkers earned more pay, even after taking into account their race, age, sex, religion, marital status and educational attainment.

The salary boost amounted to an average of 21 percent for men and 8 percent for women. The study found that the average earnings of male full-time workers who drink socially at least once a month were $4,714 higher per year than those who abstained. For full-time women, the difference was $3,214 per year.

The reason is similar to the one for churchgoers: social capital. Your drinking buddies are a kind of support group. Not only will they listen to your problems, they may help you find a better job. The local bar also can be a festive location to socialize more with clients and find new business opportunities.


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
  • Apply for a Private Student Loan to pay for your education
  • Find Rates

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

Partner Center

Connect with us