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Extending Becker's Time Allocation Theory to Model Continuous Time Blocks: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time

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Author Info

  • Wolff, Hendrik

    ()
    (University of Washington)

  • Makino, Momoe

    ()
    (Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO))

Abstract

Most 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 Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6787.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6787

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Related research

Keywords: time allocation; continuous time blocks; daylight saving time;

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  1. Raymond Palmquist & Daniel Phaneuf & V. Smith, 2010. "Short Run Constraints and the Increasing Marginal Value of Time in Recreation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 19-41, May.
  2. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Kooreman, Peter, 2004. "Timing Constraints and the Allocation of Time: The Effects of Changing Shopping Hours Regulations in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 1309, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Matthew J. Kotchen & Laura E. Grant, 2008. "Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana," NBER Working Papers 14429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Humphreys Brad R & Ruseski Jane E, 2011. "An Economic Analysis of Participation and Time Spent in Physical Activity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-38, August.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Mark L. Pocock, 2008. "Cues for Timing and Coordination: Latitude, Letterman, and Longitude," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 223-246, 04.
  6. Kellogg, Ryan & Wolff, Hendrik, 2008. "Daylight time and energy: Evidence from an Australian experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 207-220, November.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How daylight saving time burns calories
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-12 14:21:00
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Cited by:
  1. Jennifer L. Doleac & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2012. "Under the Cover of Darkness: Using Daylight Saving Time to Measure How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Behavior," Discussion Papers 12-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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