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Using the Life Satisfaction Approach to Value Daylight Savings Time Transitions: Evidence from Britain and Germany

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  • Daniel Kuehnle

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Christoph Wunder

    (University of Halle-Wittenberg)

Abstract

Abstract Daylight savings time represents a public good with costs and benefits. We provide the first comprehensive examination of the welfare effects of the spring and autumn transitions for the UK and Germany. Using individual-level data and a regression discontinuity design, we estimate the effect of the transitions on life satisfaction. Our results show that individuals in both the UK and Germany experience deteriorations in life satisfaction in the first week after the spring transition. We find no effect of the autumn transition. We attribute the negative effect of the spring transition to the reduction in the time endowment and the process of adjusting to the disruption in circadian rhythms. The effects are particularly strong for individuals with young children in the household. We conclude that the higher the shadow price of time, the more difficult is adjustment. Presumably, an increase in flexibility to reallocate time could reduce the welfare loss for individuals with binding time constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Kuehnle & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "Using the Life Satisfaction Approach to Value Daylight Savings Time Transitions: Evidence from Britain and Germany," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2293-2323, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:6:d:10.1007_s10902-015-9695-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-015-9695-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Bünnings, Christian & Schiele, Valentin, 2018. "Spring forward, don't fall back: The effect of daylight saving time on road safety," Ruhr Economic Papers 768, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Havranek, Tomas & Herman, Dominik & Irsova, Zuzana, 2016. "Does Daylight Saving Save Energy? A Meta-Analysis," MPRA Paper 74518, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tomas Havranek, Dominik Herman, and Zuzana Irsova, 2018. "Does Daylight Saving Save Electricity? A Meta-Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    4. Jin, Lawrence & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "Does Daylight Saving Time Really Make Us Sick?," IZA Discussion Papers 9088, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jin, L. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Sleep and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Herber, Stefanie P. & Quis, Johanna Sophie & Heineck, Guido, 2017. "Does the transition into daylight saving time affect students’ performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 130-139.
    7. Nicholas Rivers, 2018. "Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy? Evidence from Ontario," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 70(2), pages 517-543, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Daylight savings time; Life satisfaction; Regression discontinuity; Germany; UK;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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