Household Electrification, Fertility and Employment: Evidence from the Colombian Censuses
52 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2015 Last revised: 1 Nov 2017
Date Written: April 9, 2015
This paper examines how household electrification in Colombia altered fertility, women's work behaviour, 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 to not directly impact socio-economic 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 to not have had measurable self- or waged-employment effects.
Keywords: technology, time use, fertility, electricity, schooling, employment, dam distance, Colombia
JEL Classification: H41, I2, O12, O5, R11
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