May 05, 2020
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NCID Resident Fellow Raúl Bajo-Buenestado tells us about his paper The Effect of Blackouts on Households’ Electrification Status: evidence from Kenya.

A number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have recently deployed billions of dollars to improve their electricity infrastructure. However, aggregate data shows that the relative number of households with an electricity connection at home has barely increased. In this paper we study the role of blackouts to partially explain why there have been relatively few additional households with electricity access despite the increase in electrification expenditure. Using geo-localized survey data from Kenya, we find that households that live in neighborhoods in which power outages are relatively more frequent are (at least) about 6%-9% less likely to have electricity at home. We also find that households that have electricity access but which experience frequent power outages are also less likely to purchase electrical appliances.