Electrification and Appliance Ownership Over Time: Evidence from Rural India

Energy Policy (2019)

54 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019

See all articles by Jennifer L Richmond

Jennifer L Richmond

University of Maryland - College Park

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: July 24, 2019

Abstract

Rural electrification has the potential to transform rural lives and livelihoods by allowing households to use a variety of electric appliances. However, empirical evidence on how rural electrification translates into appliance ownership and usage remains understudied across contexts. Here we use data from the 2014-2015 ACCESS survey in six energy-poor states of India to understand the dynamics of appliance stock accumulation as a function of time since electrification. We find that, controlling for a number of variables, each additional year of electricity access leads to:

1) incrementally higher ownership rates of more power-intensive appliances,

2) increased likelihood of a higher total stock of appliances, and

3) increased probability of owning key appliances, especially TVs, fans, and pressure cookers.

These results may help to explain why short-term impact evaluations sometimes find weak evidence for benefits of rural electrification; they also underscore the importance of realistic forecasts of energy demand growth over time after rural electrification.

Keywords: India; rural electrification; energy access; energy demand; electric appliances

Suggested Citation

Richmond, Jennifer L and Urpelainen, Johannes, Electrification and Appliance Ownership Over Time: Evidence from Rural India (July 24, 2019). Energy Policy (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3419972

Jennifer L Richmond

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

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

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