University of Oulu

Conlin, A., Nerg, I., Ala-Mursula, L., Räihä, T., & Korhonen, M. (2023). The association between chronotype and wages at mid-age. In Economics & Human Biology (Vol. 50, p. 101266). Elsevier BV.

The association between chronotype and wages at mid-age

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Author: Conlin, Andrew1,2; Nerg, Iiro1; Ala-Mursula, Leena3;
Organizations: 1Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance, Oulu Business School, Finland
2Department of Finance, Aalto University School of Business, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-09


Sleep has been shown to affect economic outcomes, including wages. The mechanisms by which sleep affects wages remain unclear. We examine the relationship between chronotype — morning larks, evening owls — and wages at mid-age. We propose a novel model relating chronotype to wages in consideration of human, social, and health capital constructs. Empirically, we explore the effects of chronotype mediated through life course choices, such as work experience, trust, and health behaviour. The data come from the 46-year-old follow-up study of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort (1966) and from registers of the Finnish Tax Administration. We find evening chronotype to have a significant indirect negative effect on wages, which occurs through accumulating less work experience and through poor health outcomes. The effect is largest for male workers, with a total indirect effect on average wages of − 4%. We also provide evidence that chronotype has a long-term association with wages between 29 and 50 years of age. We conclude that evening-type workers are less suited to typical working hours and accumulate less human, social and health capital which in turn negatively affects their wages. Our findings are of great socio-economic importance because evening chronotypes make up a significant part of the population.

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Series: Economics & human biology
ISSN: 1570-677X
ISSN-E: 1873-6130
ISSN-L: 1570-677X
Volume: 50
Article number: 101266
DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2023.101266
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140, ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. Conlin thanks OP Group Research Foundation for personal research grants.
Dataset Reference: NFBC data is available from the University of Oulu, Infrastructure for Population Studies. Permission to use the data can be applied for research purposes via electronic material request portal. In the use of data, we follow the EU general data protection regulation (679/2016) and Finnish Data Protection Act. The use of personal data is based on cohort participant’s written informed consent at his/her latest follow-up study, which may cause limitations to its use. Please, contact NFBC project center ( and visit the cohort website ( for more information.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (