04/03/2013 04:47 pm ET

Employees Miss Work, Come In Late If Bars Stay Open Later, Undeniably True Study Finds

The U.S. economy, long a tremendous engine of global capitalism, could do so much better, if only we could put down our drinks a bit earlier in the night.

American bar-goers have long had the freedom to make terrible decisions late into the night, and a new study implies -- SHOCK! -- that might not be such a great thing after all. The authors found that in 2005, when the U.K. decided to extend pub hours to 5 a.m. from just 11 p.m., more workers began showing up late to work, or not at all. That is, except in areas where pubs kept closing at the same time.

And what happens when a country starts closing down the bars earlier? Good things! Spain absenteeism fell after the government required bars to close just a couple hours earlier -- meaning 3:00 a.m. instead of 6:00 a.m.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently called for a crackdown to fight what he says is a country-wide alcohol problem, but Colin Green, a Lancaster University professor and co-author of the study, contends long nights out are likely there to stay.

“I’m not sure why exactly," Green told The Huffington Post. "But my gut feeling is that pub hours won’t be pulled back."



President Obama Drinking Beer