Skip to main content

STICERD Psychology and Economics Seminar

Sleepless in Chennai: The Consequences of Increasing Sleep among the Urban Poor

Gautam Rao (Harvard University), joint with Pedro Bessone, Frank Schilbach, Heather Schofield, and Mattie Toma

Tuesday 24 September 2019 14:00 - 15:30

32L 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.


About this event

This paper measures the prevalence and consequences of sleep deprivation among the urban poor in India. We find that low-income adults in Chennai sleep little and poorly:  5.6 hours of objectively-measured sleep per night, despite 8 hours in bed. Their sleep can be increased substantially: randomized treatments providing simple devices, encouragement, (and for some) financial incentives increase night sleep by over 30 minutes. Offering short naps at the workplace in the afternoon also increased daily sleep. However, increased  night sleep had no detectable effects on cognition, productivity or labor supply, economic decisions, or physical health.  In contrast, naps improved cognition, subjective well-being and labor productivity. Naps also reduced present bias and inattention, and marginally increased financial savings. Our results provide a possible explanation for the persistence of widespread sleep deprivation and the relatively high prevalence of afternoon naps in many developing countries.

STICERD Psychology and Economics seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 15:30-17:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Dr Matthew Levy and Professor Nava Ashraf

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to STICERD Psychology and Economics mailing list (pes).


This event will take place in 32L 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH. The building is labelled on the map.

Campus
LSE Campus Map