Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation

49 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2007 Last revised: 23 Oct 2015

Steve Calandrillo

University of Washington - School of Law

Dustin Buehler

University of Arkansas - School of Law

Abstract

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

Calandrillo, Steve and Buehler, Dustin, Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 45-92 (2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1020745

Steve Calandrillo (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98195-3020
United States
206-685-2403 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.washington.edu/Faculty/Calandrillo/

Dustin Buehler

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
(479) 575-6006 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.uark.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-biography.html?user=dbuehler

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