Economics at your fingertips  

The need for impact evaluation in electricity access research

Patrick Bayer, Ryan Kennedy, Joonseok Yang and Johannes Urpelainen

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 137, issue C

Abstract: Universal household electrification is a key component of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but the evidence base for social and economic impacts of electricity access remains unclear. Here we report results from a systematic review of impact evaluations of household electrification based on five key outcome measures. We only find 31 studies that conduct statistical hypothesis tests to assess impacts. Among these, seven draw on a randomized experiment designed for causal inference. The randomized experimental studies generate fewer positive results than observational or quasi-experimental studies, such as correlational, instrumental variable, and difference-in-differences designs. These results call for a reassessment of what we know about the impacts of household electrification. They also call for major investment in impact evaluation of electricity access using randomized controlled trials, with a particular focus on when and how energy access interventions can furnish large benefits to their intended beneficiaries. Large-scale impact evaluations using experimental methods will require close collaboration between policymakers and researchers.

Keywords: Impact evaluation; Electricity access; Observational and experimental methods; Causal inference; Sustainable development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.111099

Access Statistics for this article

Energy Policy is currently edited by N. France

More articles in Energy Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-06-30
Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:137:y:2020:i:c:s030142151930686x