Under the Cover of Darkness: How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Activity
42 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2014
We exploit Daylight Saving Time (DST) as an exogenous shock to daylight, using both the discontinuous nature of the policy and the 2007 extension of DST, to consider how light impacts criminal activity. Regression discontinuity estimates show a 7% decrease in robberies following the shift to DST. As expected, effects are largest during the hours directly affected by the shift in daylight. We discuss our findings within the context of criminal decision-making and labor supply, and estimate that the 2007 DST extension resulted in $59 million in annual social cost savings from avoided robberies.
Keywords: Daylight Saving Time, crime, robbery
JEL Classification: K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation