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Fear of the Dark? – How Access to Electric Lighting Affects Security Attitudes and Nighttime Activities in Rural Senegal

  • Gunther Bensch
  • Jörg Peters
  • Maximiliane Sievert

    ()

Providing access to electricity is widely considered as a precondition for socio-economic development in rural areas of developing countries. While electrification interventions are often expected to reduce poverty through productive uses for income generating purposes, the reality in rural usage patterns looks different: Electricity is often used for lighting and entertainment devices only. It is particularly lighting with its implications for security and convenience that explains the high importance beneficiaries assign to electrification. Against this background, this paper probes into the effects of Solar Home System electricity usage on lighting consumption and activities after nightfall using cross-sectional household-level data from rural Senegal. We apply a new matching algorithm to control for a possible self-selection into Solar Home System ownership and find substantially higher lighting usage and study time after nightfall of school children. We also find some indication for improvements in perceived security.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0369.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0369
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  1. Gunther Bensch, & Jochen Kluve & Jörg Peters, 2011. "Impacts of Rural Electrifi cation in Rwanda," Ruhr Economic Papers 0284, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
  3. Marek Harsdorff & Jörg Peters, 2010. "On-Grid Rural Electrification in Benin – A Socio-economic Baseline Study on a GTZ Project," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 64, 04.
  4. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, 02.
  5. Stefano Maria IACUS & Gary KING & Giuseppe PORRO, 2009. "Multivariate matching methods that are monotonic imbalance bounding," Departmental Working Papers 2009-51, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  6. Bensch, Gunther & Peters, Jörg & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2012. "Impact evaluation of productive use—An implementation guideline for electrification projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 186-195.
  7. Rud, Juan Pablo, 2012. "Electricity provision and industrial development: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 352-367.
  8. AfDB AfDB, . "The AfDB Statistics Pocketbook 2010," AfDB Statistics Pocketbook, African Development Bank, number 5 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
  9. Jeremy R. Groves & William H. Rogers, 2011. "Effectiveness of RCA Institutions to Limit Local Externalities: Using Foreclosure Data to Test Covenant Effectiveness," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(4), pages 559-581.
  10. Roger Fouquet & Peter J.G. Pearson, 2006. "Seven Centuries of Energy Services: The Price and Use of Light in the United Kingdom (1300-2000)," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 139-178.
  11. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Superstar Extinction," NBER Working Papers 14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Augurzky, Boris & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "The Propensity Score: A Means to An End," IZA Discussion Papers 271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Jörg Peters, 2009. "Evaluating Rural Electrification Projects - Methodological Approaches," Ruhr Economic Papers 0136, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  14. Peters, Jörg & Vance, Colin & Harsdorff, Marek, 2011. "Grid Extension in Rural Benin: Micro-Manufacturers and the Electrification Trap," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 773-783, May.
  15. Acker, Richard H & Kammen, Daniel M, 1996. "The quiet (energy) revolution : Analysing the dissemination of photovoltaic power systems in Kenya," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 81-111, January.
  16. Khandker, Shahidur R. & Barnes, Douglas F. & Samad, Hussain & Minh, Nguyen Huu, 2009. "Welfare impacts of rural electrification : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5057, The World Bank.
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