Give daylight saving a trial - it's a natural stimulus
A review of economic research suggests that daylight is good for the economy in more ways than saving money on lighting, Professor Uwe Dulleck of Queensland University of Technology says.
Professor Dulleck, from QUT's School of Economics and Finance, says daylight saving should be re-examined in the cold light of economics.
"We all know about the arguments for the economic costs of being out of sync with the southern states by having different time zones along the eastern side of Australia during summer," Professor Dulleck said.
"But a review of studies from around the world suggest we should reconsider daylight saving. One of the most compelling studies is a US Department of Transport one which found that there are 0.7per cent fewer accidents during daylight saving time (DST) in summer. "
A further benefit could be to keep the economic stimulus going in retail industries.
"There are some commentators who suggest sports industries benefit from DST because people buy racquets to play tennis in that extra evening hour, golf clubs get more people hitting the course because they can get in nine rounds before dark," Professor Dulleck said.
"Community sports clubs' membership would go up as people realised they had more time after work join a team and get in a game.
"Playing sport or an extra hour on the beach make us happier as well as healthier and happy people are more productive. Healthy ones save the public health system."
Professor Dulleck said daylight saving for Queensland should not be dismissed when there were new indirect economic benefits to be considered.
"Perhaps it's time we trialled daylight saving for Queensland so that we could start quantifying (measuring) the potential economic benefits," he said.
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Professor Uwe Dulleck
QUT Business School
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