Fear of the Dark? How Access to Electric Lighting Affects Security Attitudes and Nighttime Activities in Rural Senegal

34 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013

See all articles by Gunther Bensch

Gunther Bensch

RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Jörg Peters

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research; University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics

Maximiliane Sievert

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

Providing access to electricity is widely considered as a precondition for socio-economic development in rural areas of developing countries. While electrification interventions are often expected to reduce poverty through productive uses for income generating purposes, the reality in rural usage patterns looks different: Electricity is often used for lighting and entertainment devices only. It is particularly lighting with its implications for security and convenience that explains the high importance beneficiaries assign to electrification. Against this background, this paper probes into the effects of Solar Home System electricity usage on lighting consumption and activities after nightfall using cross-sectional household-level data from rural Senegal. We apply a new matching algorithm to control for a possible self-selection into Solar Home System ownership and find substantially higher lighting usage and study time after nightfall of school children. We also find some indication for improvements in perceived security.

Keywords: Rural electrification, energy access, impact evaluation, matching

JEL Classification: O12, O13, O18, O22

Suggested Citation

Bensch, Gunther and Peters, Jörg and Sievert, Maximiliane, Fear of the Dark? How Access to Electric Lighting Affects Security Attitudes and Nighttime Activities in Rural Senegal (September 1, 2012). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 369, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2159712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2159712

Gunther Bensch

RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Jörg Peters

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
45128 Essen
Germany
0049-201-8149-247 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi-essen.de

University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics ( email )

Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultaet
Passau, D-94030
Germany

Maximiliane Sievert (Contact Author)

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

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