Productivity & Innovation

Let Them Buy Light: The Welfare Benefits of Electricity for Rural Households and Enterprises

  • Blog Post Date 08 August, 2016
  • IGC Research on India
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Robin Burgess

London School of Economics

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Anant Sudarshan

Energy Policy Institute at Chicago

This project measured the welfare effects of increased access to electricity for rural households and micro-enterprises by letting them buy light. The research design experimentally offers off-grid, solar connections through a randomized - controlled trial and measures both the willingness to pay for connections and the welfare benefits of a connection once adopted, with special focus on the productivity and education effects that bear on economic growth. Findings inform the formulation of sensible rural electrification policies and inform implementation issues.

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