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The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa

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  • Taryn Dinkelman

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of electrification on employment growth by analyzing South Africa's mass roll-out of electricity to rural households. Using several new data sources and two different identification strategies (an instrumental variables strategy and a fixed effects approach), nd that electrification significantly raises female employment within 5 years. This new infras- tructure appears to increase hours of work for men and women, while reducing female wages and increasing male earnings. Several pieces of evidence suggest that household electrification raises employment by releasing women from home production and enabling micro-enterprizes. Migration behavior may also be affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Taryn Dinkelman, 2010. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," Working Papers 1255, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:rpdevs:dinkelman_electricity_0810.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martha J. Bailey & William J. Collins, 2011. "Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 189-217, April.
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
    3. Coen-Pirani, Daniele & León, Alexis & Lugauer, Steven, 2010. "The effect of household appliances on female labor force participation: Evidence from microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 503-513, June.
    4. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    5. Victoria Hosegood & Anne Case & Cally Ardington, 2009. "Labor Supply Responses to Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 22-48, January.
    6. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    7. Matias D. Cattaneo & Sebastian Galiani & Paul J. Gertler & Sebastian Martinez & Rocio Titiunik, 2009. "Housing, Health, and Happiness," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 75-105, February.
    8. Fedderke, J.W. & Bogetic, Z., 2009. "Infrastructure and Growth in South Africa: Direct and Indirect Productivity Impacts of 19 Infrastructure Measures," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1522-1539, September.
    9. Akee, Randall K. Q., 2006. "The Babeldaob Road: The Impact of Road Construction on Rural Labor Force Outcomes in the Republic of Palau," IZA Discussion Papers 2452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Michael Lokshin & Ruslan Yemtsov, 2005. "Has Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation in Georgia Helped the Poor?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 311-333.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    electrification; labor markets; women; electricity; employment; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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