Saving Daylight, Losing Lives: The Impact of Daylight Saving Time on Deaths of Despair

This paper estimates the impact of Daylight Saving Time (DST) on deaths of despair (DoD) in the United States. Using Multiple Cause-of-Death Mortality Data from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics from 1979-1988, the effect is identified in two ways: a regression discontinuity design (RDD) that exploits discrete time changes in the Spring and Fall; and a fixed effects model (FE) that is identified with a policy change and a switching mechanism that introduces random variation to DST's start and end dates. This is one of the first attempts to estimate the impact of DST on DoD and is the first to use either identification strategy. The results from both methods suggest that the sleep disruptions during the Spring transition cause suicide rates to rise by 6.25 percent and all DoD to increase by 6.59 percent. There is no evidence for any change in suicide or all DoD during the Fall transition. The contrasting results from Spring to Fall suggest the entire effect can be attributed to disruptions in sleep patterns rather than changes in ambient light exposure.

The Effect of Minimum Wages on Time Allocation: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties

This paper estimates the impact of increases in the minimum wage on school enrollment, labor force participation, and idleness for people aged 16-19. Using the American Community Survey (ACS) for the years 2005 to 2016, the effect is identified by comparing state border-straddling county pairs in cases where one state unilaterally increases its minimum wage. This strategy represents an improvement over traditional methods used in minimum wage literature because it accounts for heterogeneous local employment trends and observations are not spatially or temporally correlated. The results suggest labor force participation falls while school enrollment rises.