Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation
49 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2007 Last revised: 23 Oct 2015
Several nations implemented daylight saving time legislation in the last century, including the United States. The United States briefly experimented with year-round daylight saving time twice - during World War II and the energy crises in the 1970s. Agency studies and Congressional hearings from the 1970s show several benefits of year-round daylight saving time, along with potential disadvantages. These studies are dated, and much has changed in the last 30 years. While Congressional efforts to extend daylight saving time in 2007 have again focused on the energy savings this legislation would produce, far more meaningful benefits have been largely ignored. This Article collects and analyzes modern research on daylight saving time, concluding that year-round daylight saving time would save hundreds of lives annually by decreasing motor vehicle and pedestrian fatalities. Furthermore, extra light in the evening hours reduces criminal activity and results in energy savings from decreased peak electricity demand. Finally, year-round daylight saving time would eliminate the negative effects caused by the current Spring and Fall time changes. These advantages significantly outweigh the potential costs of daylight saving during winter months. The time has come for Congress to enact year-round daylight saving time legislation - each year we wait costs hundreds of American lives and millions of dollars.
Keywords: time, daylight savings time, daylight saving time, daylight saving, daylight savings, economic analysis
JEL Classification: K00, N4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation