Daylight Saving Lives: the effect of daylight saving time on homicides
52 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2016 Last revised: 11 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 09, 2019
In this paper we investigate the effect of Daylight Saving Time (DST) on homicides. As assignment into the policy follows technical reports from the National Electric System Operator, the Brazilian setup lends itself to both within and between states comparison of homicide levels around the date of transition and during the whole period of DST adoption. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find a decrease in the number of homicides by firearms of roughly 9.83% during DST months. In line with the crime deterrence hypothesis, we show this uncovered effect is mostly concentrated in hours directly affected by the shift in daylight caused by DST - i.e., during early evening hours. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the shift in clocks was responsible for saving about 5,035 potential victims from 2006-2015.
Keywords: Crime deterrence; Homicides; Regression Discontinuity Design; Day-light Saving Time
JEL Classification: K42, I18, C21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation