Does Large Scale Infrastructure Investment Alleviate Poverty? Impacts of Rwanda's Electricity Access Roll-Out Program

54 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2015

See all articles by Luciane Lenz

Luciane Lenz

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Anicet Munyehirwe

IB&C (Rwanda)

Jörg Ankel-Peters

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

Maximiliane Sievert

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 15, 2015

Abstract

The United Nations’ objective to provide electricity to the 1.3 billion people without access in developing countries comes at high costs. Little evidence exists on socioeconomic impacts of electrification. This paper rigorously investigates effects of a large grid extension program in Rwanda on all rural beneficiary groups: households, microenterprises, health centers, and schools. While the program has led to a tremendous increase of connections, appliance uptake and electricity consumption remain low. We find only weak evidence for impacts on classical poverty indicators. To inform future policy design, we call for thorough cost-benefit comparison between on-grid and off-grid solutions.

Keywords: Energy access; difference-in-differences; electrification; mixed-methods; Sub-Saharan Africa

JEL Classification: O13, O18, Q41

Suggested Citation

Lenz, Luciane and Munyehirwe, Anicet and Ankel-Peters, Jörg and Sievert, Maximiliane, Does Large Scale Infrastructure Investment Alleviate Poverty? Impacts of Rwanda's Electricity Access Roll-Out Program (April 15, 2015). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 555, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2618466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2618466

Luciane Lenz

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Anicet Munyehirwe

IB&C (Rwanda)

Boulevard de Nyabugoro
Kigali
Rwanda

Jörg Ankel-Peters (Contact Author)

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

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

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