Extending Becker's Time Allocation Theory to Model Continuous Time Blocks: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time
AbstractMost activities in life require a certain amount of continuous time. Yet, in the traditional economic model of time allocation, the time block is not taken into account. Hence, the same amount of utility is derived from an activity regardless of whether it is performed continuously over one time block or divided into n separated periods. This paper presents an extension of Becker's theory to model preferences over continuous time blocks. To examine whether the predictions of the model are supported by data, we exploit the extension of the 2007 U.S. Daylight Saving Time (DST) regulation which lengthens evening daylight while shortening the time block of morning daylight. Using the American Time Use Survey, we find that outdoor recreational activities significantly increase under DST, while indoor TV watching decreases. This translates into an approximate 10% increase in burnt calories. This paper concludes with policy recommendations concerning the future status of DST.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6787.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- How daylight saving time burns calories
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-12 14:21:00
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12-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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