Payday Lending and the Opioid Epidemic

39 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 18 Jan 2022

See all articles by Xiaonan (Flora) Ma

Xiaonan (Flora) Ma

University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business, Department of Finance, Students

Date Written: March 15, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ma, Xiaonan (Flora), Payday Lending and the Opioid Epidemic (March 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3804941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3804941

Xiaonan (Flora) Ma (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business, Department of Finance, Students ( email )

1014 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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