Time Zones as Cues for Coordination: Latitude, Longitude, and Letterman
AbstractMarket productivity is often greater, and leisure and other household activities more enjoyable, when people perform them simultaneously. Beyond pointing out the positive externalities of synchronicity, economists have not attempted to identify exogenous determinants of timing. We develop a theory illustrating conditions under which synchronicity will vary and identify three factors %u2014 the amount of daylight, the timing of television programming, and differences in time zones %u2014 that can alter timing. Using the American Time Use Survey for 2003 and 2004, we first show that an exogenous shock to time in one area due to non-adherence to daylight-saving time leads its residents to alter their work schedules to continue coordinating their activities with those of people elsewhere. With time use data from Australia, we also demonstrate the same response to a similar shock there. We then show that both television timing and the benefits of coordinating across time zones in the U.S. generally affect the timing of market work and sleep, the two most time-consuming activities people undertake. While these impacts do not differ greatly by people's demographic characteristics, workers in industries where we would expect more coordination outside of their local areas are more responsive to the effects of time zones.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12350.
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Cues for Timing and Coordination: Latitude, Letterman, and Longitude" Journal of Labor Economics, 2008, vol 26, no. 2 pp. 223-246.
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Other versions of this item:
- Daniel S. Hamermesh & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Mark L. Pocock, 2006. "Time Zones As Cues For Coordination: Latitude, Longitude, And Letterman," Middlebury College Working Paper Series, Middlebury College, Department of Economics 0609, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-07-09 (All new papers)
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