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Title:Extending Becker's time allocation theory to model continuous time blocks: Evidence from daylight saving time PDF Logo
Authors:Wolff, Hendrik
Makino, Momoe
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6787
Abstract:Most activities in life require a certain amount of continuous time. Yet, in the traditional economic model of time allocation, the time block is not taken into account. Hence, the same amount of utility is derived from an activity regardless of whether it is performed continuously over one time block or divided into n separated periods. This paper presents an extension of Becker's theory to model preferences over continuous time blocks. To examine whether the predictions of the model are supported by data, we exploit the extension of the 2007 U.S. Daylight Saving Time (DST) regulation which lengthens evening daylight while shortening the time block of morning daylight. Using the American Time Use Survey, we find that outdoor recreational activities significantly increase under DST, while indoor TV watching decreases. This translates into an approximate 10% increase in burnt calories. This paper concludes with policy recommendations concerning the future status of DST.
Subjects:time allocation
continuous time blocks
daylight saving time
JEL:I18
I31
J22
Q48
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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