Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries: A Survey Off Empirical Evidence on Determinants and Performance

78 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2005

See all articles by Tooraj Jamasb

Tooraj Jamasb

Heriot-Watt University - Economics

David M. G. Newbery

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Michael G. Pollitt

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Rafaella Mota

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

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

Jamasb, Tooraj and Newbery, David M. G. and Pollitt, Michael G. and Mota, Rafaella, Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries: A Survey Off Empirical Evidence on Determinants and Performance (March 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=700083

Tooraj Jamasb (Contact Author)

Heriot-Watt University - Economics ( email )

United States

David M. G. Newbery

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DE
United Kingdom
+44 1223 335 246 (Phone)
+44 1223 335 299 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom
+44 1223 335 246/7 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Michael G. Pollitt

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1223 339615 (Phone)
+44 (0) 1223 339701 (Fax)

Rafaella Mota

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics

Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DE
United Kingdom

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