The financial benefits of Daylight Saving Time

As spring arrives and the days get longer and warmer, many countries have set their clocks forward by one hour to mark the start of daylight saving time (DST). Though it was first introduced to conserve energy, daylight saving time is associated with several other financial benefits.


A study by JPMorgan Chase Institute found that when we switch back to standard time, spending drops between 2.2% and 4.9%. This suggests that when DST is in effect, we tend to spend more money. And, it makes sense. With more daylight, consumers may be more likely to shop and participate in activities. The golf industry, for instance, estimates that DST provides between $200 million and $400 million in extra revenue because of the extra hours available to golf.


It’s not surprising that there’s a correlation between increased physical activity and the observation of daylight saving time. This could be attributed to a number of factors including the actual availability of daylight that might be required for certain activities. Another factor pertains to safety. Some may feel safer going for a run outside only in daylight hours.


Those people might be on to something, because, shockingly, crime is lower when daylight saving time is observed. Specifically, economists Jennifer Doleac and Nicholas Sanders found that robberies drop about 7% overall after the spring time change. This could be because criminals have fewer opportunities to commit crimes under the cover of darkness.


Longer daylight hours also make driving safer as it’s easier to see the road and other vehicles when it’s light outside. As a result, car accident rates may decrease during DST. This not only saves lives, but also reduces the financial costs associated with car accidents, such as medical expenses and property damage. 


The original reason for observing daylight saving time is just as impactful. The Department of Transportation says by shifting an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, people may use less energy for lighting and heating their homes. A study found that DST saves about 0.5% in total electricity per day. It may not seem like much, but it adds up over time!


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