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The Implications of Daylight Saving Time: A Field Experiment on Cognitive Performance and Risk Taking


  • Markus Schaffner
  • Jayanta Sarkar
  • Benno Torgler
  • Uwe Dulleck


To explore the effects of daylights saving time (DST) transition on cognitive performance and risk-taking behaviour immediately before and one week after the shift to DST, this study examines two Australian populations living in similar geographic surroundings who experience either no DST transition (Queensland) or a one-hour DST desynchronization (New South Wales). This exogenous variation creates natural control (QLD) and treatment (NSW) groups that enable isolation and identification of the DST transition's effect on the two outcome variables. Proximity to the border ensures similar socio-demographic and socio-economic conditions and thus permits comparison of the cognitive performance and risk-taking behaviour of affected versus unaffected individuals. The results suggest that exposure to the DST transition has no significant impact on either cognitive performance or risk-taking behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Schaffner & Jayanta Sarkar & Benno Torgler & Uwe Dulleck, 2015. "The Implications of Daylight Saving Time: A Field Experiment on Cognitive Performance and Risk Taking," QuBE Working Papers 030, QUT Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:qubewp:wp030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
    2. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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    More about this item


    Daylight saving time; Risk-taking behaviour; Cognitive performance; Field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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