CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, May 18, 2015

Doleac & Sanders on How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Activity

Jennifer L. Doleac and Nicholas J. Sanders (University of Virginia (UVA) - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and College of William and Mary) have posted Under the Cover of Darkness: How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Activity on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

We exploit Daylight Saving Time (DST) as an exogenous shock to daylight, using both the discontinuous nature of the policy and the 2007 extension of DST, to consider how light impacts criminal activity. Regression discontinuity estimates show a 7% decrease in robberies following the shift to DST. As expected, effects are largest during the hours directly affected by the shift in daylight. We discuss our findings within the context of criminal decision-making and labor supply, and estimate that the 2007 DST extension resulted in $59 million in annual social cost savings from avoided robberies.

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