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Welfare Impacts of Rural Electrification: A Panel Data Analysis from Vietnam

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  • Shahidur R. Khandker
  • Douglas F. Barnes
  • Hussain A. Samad

Abstract

Most past studies on the development impact of rural electrification have relied on cross-sectional surveys comparing households with and without electricity. This study tests the validity of the perceived correlation between welfare outcomes and rural electrification and quantifies electricity's benefits on the basis of sound econometric techniques that control for endogeneity bias. The study used panel surveys conducted in rural Vietnam in 2002 and 2005, covering some 1,120 households in 41 communes; by 2005, all surveyed communes had connected to the grid, and four-fifths of their households had a connection. The econometric estimations suggest grid electrification's positive effects on both household income and expenditure and education. We find differential returns to electricity for commune- and household-level connection: the former generates externality benefiting the poor more than the rich, farm more than nonfarm income, and girls over boys for schooling outcome; conversely, the latter benefits the rich more than the poor, nonfarm more than farm income, and boys over girls for schooling outcome. We recommend further study on rural electrification's long-term benefits for the overall rural economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahidur R. Khandker & Douglas F. Barnes & Hussain A. Samad, 2013. "Welfare Impacts of Rural Electrification: A Panel Data Analysis from Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 659-692.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/669262
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2001. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 556-592.
    2. Shahidur R. Khandker & Gayatri B. Koolwal & Hussain A. Samad, 2010. "Handbook on Impact Evaluation : Quantitative Methods and Practices," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2693, April.
    3. James P. Ziliak & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1998. "The Importance of Sample Attrition in Life Cycle Labor Supply Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 507-530.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Irani Arráiz & Carla Calero, 2015. "From Candles to Light: The Impact of Rural Electrification," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6917, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Michael Grimm & Robert Sparrow & Luca Tasciotti, 2015. "Does Electrification Spur the Fertility Transition? Evidence From Indonesia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1773-1796, October.
    3. Lenz, Luciane & Munyehirwe, Anicet & Peters, Jörg & Sievert, Maximiliane, 2017. "Does Large-Scale Infrastructure Investment Alleviate Poverty? Impacts of Rwanda’s Electricity Access Roll-Out Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 88-110.
    4. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Pelli, Martino & Ural Marchand, Beyza, 2014. "Does the quality of electricity matter? Evidence from rural India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 228-247.
    5. Barron, Manuel & Torero, Maximo, 2017. "Household electrification and indoor air pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 81-92.
    6. Grimm, Michael & Lenz, Luciane & Peters, Jörg & Sievert, Maximiliane, 2016. "Demand for Off-Grid Solar Electricity: Experimental Evidence from Rwanda," IZA Discussion Papers 10427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Céline Nauges & Jon Strand, 2017. "Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: Some New Evidence from Ghana," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 65-88, January.
    8. Irani Arráiz & Carla Calero, 2015. "From Candles to Light: The Impact of Rural Electrification," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 89136, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:55-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bridge, Brandon A. & Adhikari, Dadhi & Fontenla, Matías, 2016. "Household-level effects of electricity on income," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 222-228.
    11. You, Jing & Kontoleon, Andreas & Wang, Sangui, 2015. "Identifying a Sustainable Pathway to Household Multi-dimensional Poverty Reduction in Rural China," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211865, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Khandker, Shahidur R. & Samad, Hussain A., 2016. "Transformation of Rural Bangladesh: Role of Infrastructure and Financial Institutions," Working Papers 128, JICA Research Institute.
    13. Manning, Dale T. & Means, Peter & Zimmerle, Daniel & Galvin, Kathleen & Loomis, John & Paustian, Keith, 2015. "Using contingent behavior analysis to measure benefits from rural electrification in developing countries: an example from Rwanda," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 393-401.
    14. van de Walle, Dominique & Ravallion, Martin & Mendiratta, Vibhuti & Koolwal, Gayatri, 2013. "Long-term impacts of household electrification in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6527, The World Bank.

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