Working Papers

Sleep and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time

Lawrence Jin, Nicolas R. Ziebarth

This paper is one of the first to test for a causal relationship between sleep and human capital. It exploits the quasi-experimental nature of Daylight Saving Time (DST), up to 3.4 million BRFSS respondents from the US, and all 160 million hospital admissions from Germany over one decade. We find evidence of mild negative health effects when clocks are set forward one hour in spring. When clocks are set back one hour in fall, effectively extending sleep duration for the sleep deprived by one hour, sleep duration and self-reported health increase and hospital admissions decrease significantly for four days.

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Paper Keywords

sleep, human capital, Daylight Saving Time (DST), BRFSS, hospital admissions, sleep deprivation