Daylight Savings and GDP

The Economist offers a timely note (h/t Rebecca):

It’s short, but the gist is that Japan could increase productivity, jobs, and reduce the fiscal deficit by adopting daylight savings time. The last paragraph:

“‘The best part is that it doesn’t cost anything,” chirps Mr Alkire. “It’s a real fiscal stimulus without any money.’

Adopting DST would increase Japan’s GDP by more than ¥1.2 trillion (around $15 billion) annually, according to the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute. The Japan Productivity Centre, another research outfit, reckons it could generate 100,000 jobs. Public approval for DST is growing, from 40% in the 1990s to around 60% today. Heizo Takenaka, a former cabinet minister, says it nearly passed in 2005 but fell victim to bureaucratic infighting. The bigger problem, says Mr Alkire, is that schools and firms own students’ and employees’ time. Extra daylight is less help if people are stuck indoors.”