Electrification to Grow Manufacturing? Evidence from Mini-grids in Nepal

Duke Global Working Paper Series No. 36

86 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2021 Last revised: 17 Mar 2023

See all articles by Robyn Meeks

Robyn Meeks

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Hope F. Thompson

Independent

Zhenxuan Wang

Duke University

Date Written: January 13, 2023

Abstract

Firms in developing countries often identify electricity as a major constraint to operations. Decentralized renewable energy sources could help alleviate these constraints. We investigate whether electrification in Nepal -- via microhydro plants and their mini-grids -- helped grow the manufacturing sector. Mini-grids significantly increased manufacturing establishments; yet their overall presence remained limited due to low baseline numbers. Following electrification, females and males were more likely to be employees and less likely to be self-employed. Likewise, usual employment activities shifted from labor in agriculture to salary and wage work. In more remote locations, the impacts of mini-grids on manufacturing establishments and labor were significantly muted.

Keywords: electricity, manufacturing, employment, renewable energy

JEL Classification: O13, O14, Q42, Q56

Suggested Citation

Meeks, Robyn and Thompson, Hope F. and Wang, Zhenxuan, Electrification to Grow Manufacturing? Evidence from Mini-grids in Nepal (January 13, 2023). Duke Global Working Paper Series No. 36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3807316 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3807316

Robyn Meeks (Contact Author)

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University ( email )

Durham, NC

HOME PAGE: http://www.robynmeeks.com/

Hope F. Thompson

Independent

Zhenxuan Wang

Duke University ( email )

9 Curcuit Drive
Durham, NC 27705
United States

HOME PAGE: http://zhenxuanwang.org

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