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Household Electrification, Fertility, and Employment: Evidence from Hydroelectric Dam Construction in Colombia

Louise Grogan

Journal of Human Capital, 2016, vol. 10, issue 1, 109 - 158

Abstract: This paper examines how household electrification in Colombia altered fertility, women’s work behavior, and children’s schooling. Estimation exploits plausibly exogenous variation in the cost of a household electric connection. The time-varying distance between a municipality and the nearest hydroelectric dam is assumed not to directly affect socioeconomic outcomes but to influence electrification rates during 1973–2005. Changes within municipalities in dam distance are used to predict changes in electrification rates in specifications including both department fixed effects with extensive municipal controls and municipal fixed effects. Household electrification is found to have reduced fertility and to have increased young children’s schooling but not to have had measurable self- or waged-employment effects.

Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/684580