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Infrastructure coverage and the poor : the global perspective


  • Komives, Kristin
  • Whittington, Dale
  • Wu, Xun


The authors use the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) surveys from 15 countries (covering more than 55,500 households) to examine the relationship between infrastructure coverage and household income. The results show that throughout the world all income groups have much higher levels of coverage for electricity than for other formal infrastructure services (in-house piped water service, sewerage service, and private telephone service). In many countries most households in urban areas now have electricity service. As monthly household incomes increase from $100 to $250, coverage of all these infrastructure services rises, but at different rates. The findings confirm that the very poor rarely have these infrastructure services - with exceptions. The very poor often do have electricity if they live in urban areas. The very poor in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have much higher levels of coverage than those elsewhere in the world; they often have electricity, water, sewer, and telephone services. The results also suggest that if the poor gain access to services in their communities, many will decide to connect.

Suggested Citation

  • Komives, Kristin & Whittington, Dale & Wu, Xun, 2001. "Infrastructure coverage and the poor : the global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2551, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2551

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Margaret Grosh & Paul Glewwe, 2000. "Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries : Lessons from 15 Years of the Living Standards Measurement Study, Volume 3," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 15195, December.
    2. Crane, Randall, 1994. "Water markets, market reform and the urban poor: Results from Jakarta, Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-83, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amadou Bassirou Diallo & Sudeshna Banerjee & Vivien Foster & Quentin Wodon, 2009. "Is Low Coverage of Modern Infrastructure Services in African Cities due to lack of Demand or lack of Supply ?," Post-Print hal-00405400, HAL.
    2. Estache, Antonio & Gomez-Lobo, Andres & Leipziger, Danny, 2000. "Utility privatization and the needs of the poor in Latin America - Have we learned enough to get it right?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2407, The World Bank.
    3. Dale Whittington, 2006. "Pricing Water and Sanitation Services," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2006-18, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    4. Jay P Graham & Maneet Kaur & Marc A Jeuland, 2018. "Access to environmental health assets across wealth strata: Evidence from 41 low- and middle-income countries," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(11), pages 1-19, November.
    5. Showers, Kate B., 2002. "Water Scarcity and Urban Africa: An Overview of Urban-Rural Water Linkages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 621-648, April.
    6. Banerjee, Sudeshna & Diallo, Amadou & Foster, Vivien & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Trends in household coverage of modern infrastructure services in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4880, The World Bank.
    7. Briceno-Garmendia, Cecilia & Estache, Antonio & Shafik, Nemat, 2004. "Infrastructure services in developing countries : access, quality, costs and policy reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3468, The World Bank.
    8. Julian Lampietti, 2004. "Power's Promise : Electricity Reforms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 14936, December.
    9. George R.G. Clarke & Katrina Kosec & Scott Wallsten, 2009. "Has private participation in water and sewerage improved coverage? Empirical evidence from Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 327-361.
    10. Songco, Jocelyn A., 2002. "Do rural infrastructure investments benefit the poor? Evaluating linkages : a global view, a focus on Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2796, The World Bank.

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