Electricity is critical to modern economic activity and is an essential input to many public services. Yet, more than 800 million people lack even basic access to electricity services, and in many parts of the world, the power supply is limited and highly unreliable. Understanding the development benefits of improved electricity availability and the key bottlenecks preventing improved electricity take-up are key questions for the community of academics and policymakers working on achieving the goal of universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.
In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Jevgenijs Steinbuks will present key insights from recent studies of electricity access and reliability in developing countries. He will first discuss the key methodological challenges in assessing the economic costs and benefits of improved electricity availability. He will then survey the recent advances and key findings from the emerging literature on the development economics of electricity access and reliability. He will conclude by discussing the policy insights and other lessons learned from his own recent empirical work on the power sector in Brazil, Nepal, Ukraine, and a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The monthly Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the World Bank’s research department, challenge and contribute to the institution’s intellectual climate, and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practice. These talks facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff and inform World Bank operations both globally and within partner countries. Read More »