NEW YORK – The three-martini lunch has long been a mainstay of Wall Street.
A study by an economist at the University of Calgary shows that the more men drink, the more they make.
"With all else in the system held constant, moderate and heavy drinking are both associated with considerably higher wages than abstention from drinking," writes study author M. Christopher Auld, of the University of Calgary and Institute of Pharmacoeconomics.
Originally commissioned in 1998, the controversial study connecting drinking and income was updated last month; more expanded research on the topic is in the works.
Some aren’t surprised by the findings, saying ambitious, hardworking types tend to be Type A personalities who drink hard to escape from working hard.
"High-pressure, stressful jobs may lead to more money and might lead to more drinking," said author and Fox News Channel contributor Georgia Witkin, Ph.D.
"The finding that a heavy drinker and a moderate drinker are more likely to make money does not surprise me at all," said psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers. "That has been known for a long time."
She and other drug and alcohol counselors have criticized Auld’s research because, they say, it might encourage binge drinking – and even alcoholism.
"If you drink heavily, it will eventually not be the Dean Martin fun thing," said Brothers. "It’s going to be a serious situation where eventually you will lose the high-paying job."
If you’re thinking drinking just a little will earn you a lot, think again. Light drinkers make about 10 percent less than their heavy bottle-hitting buddies, the findings show. Whether they’re drinkers or not, smokers earn less than every other group, on average.
But though life in the fast lane might be connected to a stronger net worth, it can also lead to a weaker heart. The on-the-job heart attack rate on Wall Street might be as much as 10 times that of everyone else.
Auld is in the process of getting more funding so he can expand his research.