EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh

Tomoki Fujii (), Abu Shonchoy () and Sijia Xu

World Development, 2018, vol. 102, issue C, 315-330

Abstract: Access to electricity has the potential to improve the nutritional status of children by a variety of pathways such as increased wealth, reduced fertility through the change in time use, spread of information through technology such as TV, and improved health care services. Yet, the relationship between electrification and children’s nutritional status is rarely explored in the literature. We attempt to fill this lacuna by offering microeconometric evidence from rural Bangladesh, where a rapid expansion of electrification and significant improvement in children’s nutritional status were observed in the past two decades. We find that access to electricity has a positive impact on the nutritional status of children under five as measured by height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) by around 0.1–0.2 points using five rounds of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey from 2000 to 2014. Our results also appear to indicate that the quality of electricity may influence the size of this positive impact. While our analysis of causal pathways is limited by the data availability, it suggests that the positive impact of electrification partially comes from increased wealth. For some years, the positive impact can also be attributed to reduced fertility and information exposure through TV viewing. On the contrary, we find little evidence that the impact is attributable to the improvement of local health facilities. Our findings underscore the importance of evaluating infrastructure programs such as rural electrification from a broad perspective as their impacts may go well beyond the economic benefits considered in a typical cost–benefit analysis. This in turn may encourage governments to invest more in basic infrastructure, which is still severely lacking in Bangladesh and many other countries in the rest of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: electrification; height-for-age Z​-score; malnutrition; television; wealth; Bangladesh (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X17302462
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Impact of electrification on children's nutritional status in rural Bangladesh (2016) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:315-330

Access Statistics for this article

World Development is currently edited by O. T. Coomes

More articles in World Development from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-03-31
Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:315-330