Does the Quality of Electricity Matter? Evidence from Rural India
36 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2013 Last revised: 9 May 2014
Date Written: April 2014
This paper estimates the returns to household income due to improved access to electricity in rural India. We examine the effect of connecting a household to the grid and the quality of electricity, defined as hours of daily supply. The analysis is based on two rounds of a representative panel of more than 10,000 households. We use the district-level density of transmission cables as instrument for the electrification status of the household. We find that a grid connection increases non-agricultural incomes of rural households by about 9 percent during the study period (1994-2005). However, a grid connection and a higher quality of electricity (in terms of fewer outages and more hours per day) increases non-agricultural incomes by about 28.6 percent in the same period.
Keywords: electricity supply, quality, India, energy and development, infrastructure
JEL Classification: O120, O180, Q480
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