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Welfare impacts of rural electrification : a case study from Bangladesh

  • Khandker, Shahidur R.
  • Barnes, Douglas F.
  • Samad, Hussain A.

Lack of access to electricity is one of the major impediments to growth and development of the rural economies in developing countries. That is why access to modern energy, in particular to electricity, has been one of the priority themes of the World Bank and other development organizations. Using a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2005 of some 20,000 households in rural Bangladesh, this paper studies the welfare impacts of households'grid connectivity. Based on rigorous econometric estimation techniques, this study finds that grid electrification has significant positive impacts on households'income, expenditure, and educational outcomes. For example, the gain in total income due to electrification can be as much as 30 percent and as low as 9 percent. Benefits go up steadily as household exposure to grid electrification (measured by duration) increases and eventually reach a plateau. This paper also finds that rich households benefit more from electrification than poor households. Finally, estimates also show that income benefits of electrification on an average exceed cost by a wide margin.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4859.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4859
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  1. Khandker, S.R., 1996. "Education Achievements and School Efficiency in Rural Bangladesh," World Bank - Discussion Papers 319, World Bank.
  2. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, 07.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  4. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  5. Alam, M.S. & Kabir, E. & Rahman, M.M. & Chowdhury, M.A.K., 2004. "Power sector reform in Bangladesh: Electricity distribution system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1773-1783.
  6. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "The effect of household wealth on educational attainment : demographic and health survey evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1980, The World Bank.
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