Electrification and Appliance Ownership Over Time: Evidence from Rural India
Energy Policy (2019)
54 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 24, 2019
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
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