Shades of Darkness or Light? A Systematic Review of Geographic Bias in Impact Evaluations of Electricity Access

Forthcoming, Energy Research & Social Science

22 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019

See all articles by David Hamburger

David Hamburger

Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Joel Jaeger

Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Patrick Bayer

University of Strathclyde - Department of Government

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Joonseok Yang

Columbia University

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: July 11, 2019

Abstract

Despite the growing use of impact evaluations for electrification interventions, little attention has been paid to the geographical distribution of such evaluations. This is concerning because cultural and regional differences may limit how transferable results across regions are. We undertake a systematic review of the literature and find 31 impact evaluations of electricity access in 16 countries that meet our criteria for statistical hypothesis testing of development outcomes. India accounts for a quarter of the impact evaluations. Given the large non-electrified population in India, this is still a small number, roughly comparable to Nigeria or Kenya. South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are the most underrepresented regions. We find more positive impacts from electricity access, on average, for South Asia than for sub-Saharan Africa, which calls for greater attention to geographical bias in future impact evaluations of electrification access.

Keywords: electricity access; energy poverty; impact evaluation; electrification; development; geographical distribution; systematic review

Suggested Citation

Hamburger, David and Jaeger, Joel and Bayer, Patrick and Kennedy, Ryan and Yang, Joonseok and Urpelainen, Johannes, Shades of Darkness or Light? A Systematic Review of Geographic Bias in Impact Evaluations of Electricity Access (July 11, 2019). Forthcoming, Energy Research & Social Science. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3418331

David Hamburger

Johns Hopkins University SAIS ( email )

1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, DC 20036
United States

Joel Jaeger

Johns Hopkins University SAIS ( email )

1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, DC 20036
United States

Patrick Bayer (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde - Department of Government ( email )

Glasgow G1 1XU
United Kingdom

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

TX 77204-3011
United States
713-743-1663 (Phone)
713-743-3890 (Fax)

Joonseok Yang

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

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