Productivity and Wages

Immediately after changing the clock to DST, a number of negative effects on the economy are observed:

  • Workers are 20-27% less productive [WBLF12];

  • Work accidents rise by 5.7% [BaWa09];

  • Workers lose 67.6% more working days due to injuries [BaWa09];

  • Mistakes at work increase. Critical examples are the increase in medical errors [KCMM20], and potential losses on the stock market [BeDo11, KaKL00]. 


Fortunately, the acute effects of the clock change listed here will subside over the course of the following weeks. However, there are persistent effects that we experience from living in the wrong time zone (DST).

In terms of productivity at work  there are quite different estimates. However, all scholars agree that DST has a negative effect  [GiMa19, GiSh18, JiZi20]. Some studies show a 1.1% loss of productivity during DST [GiSh18, JiZi20]. This value is consistent with estimates of the loss of productivity due to insufficient sleep [HSTT16] . 

With 7 months of DST and 5 months of standard time and the assumption that the effect is evenly distributed over the months, this loss means a reduction in GDP of 0.64% due to the 7 months of DST. Considering the GDP value of 2018, this corresponds to a loss of around 21.5 billion euros for Germany.

Consequently, it is also not surprising that wages are on average 3% lower during in permanent DST, which means that the loss of productivity affects all workers [GiMa19, GiSh18]. Based on average German income  [Oecd20], people in Germany lose on average 790 euros per year due to the 7 months in DST. 

German Wages_DE.png

Figure 1: Profit (positive) and loss (negative) of the average yearly German salary in year-round standard time and DST, compared with the current clock regime (UTC+01:00/+02:00).