Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries: A Survey Off Empirical Evidence on Determinants and Performance
78 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2005
Date Written: March 2005
Driven by ideology, economic reasoning, and early success stories, vast amounts of financial resources and effort have been spent on reforming infrastructure industries in developing countries. It is, therefore, important to examine whether evidence supports the logic of reforms. This paper reviews the empirical evidence on electricity reform in developing countries. We find that country institutions and sector governance play an important role in success and failure of reform. Also, reforms also appear to have increased operating efficiency and expanded access to urban customers. However, they have to a lesser degree passed on efficiency gains to customers, tackled distributional effects, and improved rural access. Moreover, some of the literature is not methodologically robust and on par with general development economics literature. Further, findings on some issues are limited and inconclusive while other important areas are yet to be addressed. Until we know more, implementation of reforms will be more based on ideology and economic theory rather than solid economic evidence.
Keywords: Electricity, reform, developing countries
JEL Classification: L52, L94, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation