Increasing Rural Electrification through Connection Campaigns

Energy Policy, Forthcoming

55 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020

See all articles by Brian Blankenship

Brian Blankenship

University of Miami

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Aseem Mahajan

Harvard University

Jason Chun Yu Wong

Columbia University

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: January 21, 2020

Abstract

To reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of universal household electrification by 2030, developing countries are spending billions of dollars to expand access. India, for example, recently undertook an audacious expansion plan which aimed to electrify every household by December 2018. However, there is little academic study of strategies to increase electrification rates. We argue that significant transaction costs inhibit household applications for connections. As evidence, we report the results of a randomized controlled trial (in 200 communities and 2,000 households) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, with a treatment consisting of an informational campaign about the costs and procedure of applying. We found that households exposed to the campaign were three times as likely to apply for a connection. Yet actual connection rates remained unchanged. The results suggest that transaction costs are an important barrier to electrification, but limited capacity and incentive to expand connections are equally important.

Keywords: Energy, India, Electrification, Public services

Suggested Citation

Blankenship, Brian and Kennedy, Ryan and Mahajan, Aseem and Wong, Jason Chun Yu and Urpelainen, Johannes, Increasing Rural Electrification through Connection Campaigns (January 21, 2020). Energy Policy, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3523890

Brian Blankenship (Contact Author)

University of Miami ( email )

Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

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

Aseem Mahajan

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jason Chun Yu Wong

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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