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Development Workshop: Maulik Jagnani

Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 11:40am to 1:10pm

Uris Hall, 494 Uris Hall
Central Campus

Maulik Jagnani - Cornell University

Poor Sleep: Sunset Time and Human Capital Production

Abstract: This paper unpacks a new regularity in comparative development: the negative relationship between sunset time and education production. Bedtimes are determined in part by sunset times, which vary predictably across locations and seasons. Yet social norms may dictate wake-up times that do not fully reflect these differences. Thus, if households fail to adjust on their own, later sunset may reduce individuals' sleep duration. Using data sets from several developing countries, I show that later sunset reduces children's sleep and self-investment in study effort, consistent with a model where sleep is productivity-enhancing and increases the marginal returns of effort. School-age children in locations with later sunset have fewer years of schooling and are less likely to complete primary and middle school. Later sunset also decreases adults' sleep, wages, and household education expenditure. Poverty helps explain why families don't sleep more. The negative effect of later sunset on sleep is most pronounced in periods when households face binding liquidity constraints. Two policy interventions may mitigate the effects of later sunset on human capital production: (i) later school start times and (ii) social protection programs.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconDevelop

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Heather LaCombe

Contact Phone



Maulik Jagnani

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

Open To

Cornell Economics Community List Serve Members