Should we abolish
daylight saving time?
March 10, 2016
(SitNews) - On March 13, most North Americans will be setting their clocks forward an hour. But not all regions abide by daylight saving time, and many American states are currently considering scrapping it.
Werner Antweiler, an economist at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, has investigated the pros and cons of daylight saving time and says there are plenty of good reasons not to do it.
Daylight saving time is a costly concept, says University of British Columbia economist
Is it still worth it to change our clocks twice a year?
Ten years ago, the state of Indiana provided a natural experiment to gauge whether daylight saving time really does reduce energy use when it converted to DST statewide – and one study actually found a slight increase in energy demand after the switch. While there were savings on lighting, there was a larger increase in air conditioning use in long summer evenings and heating use in fall mornings. Empirical evidence really hasn’t found much in the way of benefits, but the costs are numerous.
What are the costs?
When the clocks go forward in March, a lot of people lose sleep. There has been plenty of evidence documenting a real and measurable cost of having a sleepy populace. Researchers have found a spike in motor vehicle accidents the Monday after clocks go back, and some evidence suggests there is an increase in fatalities which wouldn’t have occurred if clocks didn’t change. Psychologists have also found that springing forward can be bad for worker productivity, as people spend more time off-task on the first Monday of DST.
One study by University of British Columbia Sauder finance professor Maurice Levi found that DST shifts impact stock markets. While Mondays normally see a dip in stock returns, switching over to DST magnifies that dip by 200 to 500 per cent. Levi and his co-authors found the DST switch leads to a one-day loss of as much as $31 billion across all American stock exchanges. The DST stock-market continues to be researched actively.
Essentially, daylight saving time does not survive a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
What should we do?
If we were to abolish daylight saving time, we have two choices: either have standard time year-round, or daylight saving time year-round - a question of whether the sun hits its peak around noon or around 1 p.m. It might actually be better to switch to year-round DST, with our days centered around 1 p.m., as new research suggests that would have optimal energy savings.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Source of News:
University of British Columbia
Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted below are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.
Contact the Editor
Publish A Letter in SitNews
Stories In The News
photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright
and may not be reprinted without written permission from and
payment of any required fees to the proper sources.
E-mail your news &
photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.