Payday Lending and the Opioid Epidemic
39 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 18 Jan 2022
Date Written: March 15, 2021
This paper shows that access to payday lending affects societal health outcomes such as opioid-related mortality. I find that states allowing payday lending experience 1.5 lives lost per 100,000 population every year, which amounts to one-third of its mean value. I interpret this result in line with the increased consumption of opioid pills after accessing to payday lending. Accordingly, the effects are more pronounced in areas with low socioeconomic status. Confounding events, time trends, or systematic differences between states allowing and prohibiting payday lending are unlikely to explain the association between payday lending access and opioid mortality. Overall, my findings suggest that household finance regulations can impact societal health.
Keywords: payday lending, opioid epidemic, finance, public health
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