Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing for a bill that would affect every resident in the United States: AStarting in November 2023. Lawmakers say the effort could boost the economy, in addition to avoiding the hassle of changing clocks twice a year – and lack of sleep.
Lawmakers said the Sunshine Protection Act should increase consumer spending and change energy consumption by giving Americans an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the workday. In a release Approval of the bill could “jumpstart” the economy and effectively serve as a “stimulus package on its own.” Written Sam Lyman, policy director at the Oren G. Hatch Foundation, in an option ad at The Hill.
But according to PNC economist Kurt Rankin, the economic benefits of DST throughout the year could be far greater than those suggested by its proponents, who reviewed studies on time changes and their effects on the economy. First, not much research is available on this issue, at least when compared with other aspects of the economy, such as wages or inflation. And the scope of current research is limited, which raises questions about the national economic impact.
“From an economic point of view, I think the benefits will be minimal,” Rankin told CBS MoneyWatch. “It’s not something that’s going to cure the problems facing the US economy in the next year or two – inflationary concerns, rising interest rates, a shortage of supply chains.”
The most frequently cited evidence of the economic benefits of the switch comes from a search. JPMorgan Chase Institute, Which found in 2016 that consumer spending has declined by 3.5% since the end of daylight saving time in November. This shows that some consumers meet their expenses when they have less than an hour of daylight to shop or work at the end of the day.
But a study by the Chase Institute focused on spending in Los Angeles, which has a relatively limited scope. And researchers note that other policy changes, such as sales tax breaks, could boost consumer spending.
A promotion for restaurants?
Some business groups say they are studying the matter. The National Retail Federation said in an e-mail that it has “historically supported daylight saving time, but this position does not reflect the current debate on creating a permanent daylight saving time,” which the Senate said this week. Approved. ”
“We are reviewing the implications of this change and consulting with our members,” he added.
That being said, Rankin believed that switching to permanent DST could benefit one sector of the economy: the hospitality business, such as restaurants and hotels. Towards the end of the day, more daylight may increase the demand for these services, which will help these businesses as well as gag economy workers such as door dash drivers.
“This is the sector that is still having the most difficulty in recovering from the epidemic, so it will be helpful to provide some protection to the workers in this sector,” he said.
Rankin added that he himself favors the idea of a permanent switch, even if he doesn’t see much economic value for the bill. “I’m in favor of getting rid of changing watches because it ends your schedule.” He said on March 13 after the clocks had advanced an hour. Saturday, as I try to adjust. “
The argument for energy efficiency is “objectionable.”
Research on energy conservation – one of the main reasons proponents suggest consolidating daylight saving time – is mixed. A 2008 Department of Energy study found that the nation saved 0.5% per day in electricity in four weeks after the nation extended daylight saving time in 2005.
Researchers at Yale University 2011 paper It has been found that daylight saving time actually increases energy consumption in Indiana because higher heating and cooling costs far outweigh lower demand for electric light. “We find that the long-standing argument for DST is questionable,” the researchers wrote.
But this paper is based on energy consumption in a state – again, in a small part of the United States – and may not be more widely applied.
Senate unanimous approval
The bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, will now have to be passed by the House and signed by the President to become law.
At a March 9 hearing of the House Energy Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, experts urged lawmakers to make changes, citing issues such as safety and increased traffic accidents when traveling in the dark.
“Simply put, darkness kills. And the evening darkness is far more deadly than the morning darkness,” University of Washington professor Steve P. Calendrello told the committee.
According to the survey, Americans themselves are divided on this issue. About 3 out of 10 said they would like to save time in daylight all year round, while an equal number said they would like to maintain the current system of one hour back in November and one hour forward in March. Will prefer NORC Survey found in 2019. Four out of 10 people said they wanted to go on standard time all year round.
Finally, the argument for switching to permanent daylight saving time may be based on personal preference, not economics. As JPMorgan Chase put it: Americans can “enjoy the extra daylight.”