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The welfare effects of time reallocation: evidence from Daylight Saving Time

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919, Fleche, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0001-8927-075X and Pagan, Ricardo (2024) The welfare effects of time reallocation: evidence from Daylight Saving Time. Economica, 91 (362). 547 - 568. ISSN 0013-0427

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ecca.12510


Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a widely adopted practice implemented by over 70 countries to align sunlight with day-to-day activities and reduce energy demands. However, we do not have a clear knowledge of how it affects individuals' welfare. Using a regression discontinuity combined with a difference-in-differences design, we find that the Spring DST transition causes a significant decline in life satisfaction. By inducing a reallocation of time, the transition into DST deteriorates sleep quality and increases time stress, which in turn affects physical and emotional health. Using an event study approach, we find that such effects persist for about six days after the DST transition. Conversely, we provide evidence that the Autumn DST transition gives rise to a significant increase in life satisfaction. Finally, using a simple cost-benefit analysis, we discuss the potential benefits of ending DST.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K2 - Regulation and Business Law > K20 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2023 12:57
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 07:51

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