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

Author

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  • Wolff, Hendrik

    () (Simon Fraser University)

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolff, Hendrik & Makino, Momoe, 2012. "Extending Becker's Time Allocation Theory to Model Continuous Time Blocks: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," IZA Discussion Papers 6787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6787
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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1995:85:1:92-96_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Matthew J. Kotchen & Laura E. Grant, 2011. "Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1172-1185, November.
    3. Raymond Palmquist & Daniel Phaneuf & V. Smith, 2010. "Short Run Constraints and the Increasing Marginal Value of Time in Recreation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 19-41, May.
    4. 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, April.
    5. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Kooreman, Peter, 2005. "Timing constraints and the allocation of time: The effects of changing shopping hours regulations in The Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 9-27, January.
    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.
    7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    8. 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.
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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 19:21:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Ingco, Katrina Nicole & Pilitro, Ver Lyon Yojie, 2016. "Stuck at a Crossroad: A Microeconometric Analysis of Fertility and Married Female Labor Force Supply in the Philippines," MPRA Paper 73351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2016. "If You Don't Snooze You Lose: Evidence on Health and Weight," IZA Discussion Papers 9773, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:06:y:2015:i:02:n:s2010007815500074 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    time allocation; continuous time blocks; daylight saving time;

    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

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