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The determinants of rural electrification in Bihar, India


  • Oda, Hisaya
  • Tsujita, Yuko


This paper explores intra-state disparity in access to electricity and examines the determinants of electrification at the village level in Bihar, one of the underdeveloped states in India. Our field survey of 80 villages in 5 districts conducted in 2008-09 found that 48 villages (60%) are electrified when using the definition of electrification that a village is electrified if any one household in the village is connected to electricity. The degrees of “electrification” in terms of the proportion of household connection and available hours of electricity remain by and large low, and at the same time differ across districts, villages and seasons. In the processes of electrification, approximately 40% of villages have been electrified in recent years. Based on the basic findings of the survey, this paper examines the electrification processes and how it has changed in recent years. The econometric analyses demonstrate that location is the most important determinant of a village’s electricity connection. Another important finding is that with the rapid progress of rural electrificationunder the recent government programme and the tendency to connect the villages which are easily accessible, the collective bargaining power of the village, which used to significantly affect the process of electrification, has lost influence. This adversely affects remote villages. In order to extend electricity supplies to remote and geographically disadvantaged villages, the government needs to consider seriously other options for sustainable electricity supply, such as decentralized distribution of electricity rather than the conventional connection through the national/local grids.

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  • Oda, Hisaya & Tsujita, Yuko, 2010. "The determinants of rural electrification in Bihar, India," IDE Discussion Papers 254, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper254

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Banerjee, Rangan, 2006. "Comparison of options for distributed generation in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 101-111, January.
    2. Cust, J. & Singh, A. & Neuhoff, K., 2007. "Rural Electrification in India: Economic and Institutional aspects of Renewables," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0763, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Bhattacharyya, Subhes C., 2006. "Energy access problem of the poor in India: Is rural electrification a remedy?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3387-3397, December.
    4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
    5. Andreas Kemmler, 2006. "Regional disparities in electrification of India – do geographic factors matter?," CEPE Working paper series 06-51, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
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    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:657-672 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    India; Electric power generation; Rural societies; Rural electrification;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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