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Does Electrification Spur the Fertility Transition? Evidence from Indonesia

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  • Grimm, Michael

    () (University of Passau)

  • Sparrow, Robert

    () (Wageningen University)

  • Tasciotti, Luca

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

We analyse various pathways through which access to electricity affects fertility, using a pseudo-panel of Indonesian districts covering the period 1993-2010. Identification of causal effects relies on a district-fixed effects approach and controlling for local economic development. The electrification rate increased by about 65 percent over the study period and our results suggest that the subsequent effects on fertility account for about 18 to 24 percent of the overall decline in the fertility rate, depending on the specification. A key channel through which electrification affects fertility is increased exposure to TV, explaining about a quarter of the total fertility effect. Using in addition several waves of Demographic and Health Surveys, we find suggestive evidence that increased exposure to TV affects in particular fertility preferences and increases the effective use of contraception. Reduced child mortality seems to be another important pathway linking access to electricity and fertility. We find no evidence that changes to direct and indirect costs of children play a role. Overall, the results suggest that electrification contributes substantially to the fertility decline. In a context in which family planning policy still plays an important role this second order effect should be taken into account in cost benefit analyses of publicly funded grid expansion policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimm, Michael & Sparrow, Robert & Tasciotti, Luca, 2014. "Does Electrification Spur the Fertility Transition? Evidence from Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 8146, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fujii, Tomoki & Shonchoy, Abu S. & Xu, Sijia, 2018. "Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 315-330.
    2. Lorenzo Pellegrini & Luca Tasciotti, 2016. "The Electrification–Malaria Nexus: The Case of Rural Uganda," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(4), pages 521-535, September.
    3. Michael Grimm & Anicet Munyehirwe & Jörg Peters & Maximiliane Sievert, 2017. "A First Step up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 631-649.
    4. Tasciotti, Luca, 2017. "Use of electricity and malaria occurrence: Is there a link? The case of Malawi," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 310-316.
    5. Jacopo Bonan & Stefano Pareglio & Massimo Tavoni, 2014. "Access to Modern Energy: a Review of Impact Evaluations," Working Papers 2014.96, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:67-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Luca Tasciotti & Farooq Sulehria & Natascha Wagner, 2019. "Corruption: Fertility, electricity and television: is there a link? Evidence from Pakistan, 1990-2012," Working Papers 220, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    8. repec:bla:devpol:v:36:y:2018:i:s1:p:o552-o563 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    television; child mortality; fertility; fertility transition; electrification; family planning; infrastructure;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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