New Publications

Published on July 11th, 2015 by admin. Filed under Publications

Our papers titled “Quantifying Slum Electrification in India and Explaining Local Variation” and “The Political Economy of Energy Access: Survey Evidence from India on State Intervention and Public Opinion” are in press and forthcoming with Energy and Energy Research and Social Science, respectively. Both papers are co-authored with Michaël Aklin (Pittsburgh), S.P. Harish (NYU), and Johannes Urpelainen (Columbia University).

Quantifying Slum Electrification in India and Explaining Local Variation

Abstract: Unreliable electricity supply is a major obstacle to economic development in countries such as India. While electricity problems in the rural areas are widely recognized, scholars have yet to analyze the situation in urban slums. Drawing on 2004e2005 survey data from the India Human Development Survey, we document the electricity situation in slums. We find that while households located in slums are less likely to have access to the electricity grid than other urban households, the situation is significantly better than in rural areas. Based on simulations, we find that a median household in a slum has 70% chance of having electricity. This number decreases to 50% for a household in a rural area and increases to 80% for households in urban areas. As to daily hours of electricity available for connected households, urban slums also fall between other urban and rural areas. Finally, we show that these conditions vary considerably by state. Slums located in states with low corruption and leftist governments have better electricity access on average than those in states suffering from corruption or that are ruled by rightist parties.

The Political Economy of Energy Access: Survey Evidence from India on State Intervention and Public Opinion

Abstract: In India, where energy access is limited, how does the public react to the government’s inability to provide the citizens with basic energy services, such as electricity and clean cooking fuel? We answer this question using a survey conducted in two rural villages of Uttar Pradesh. First, we examine the association between a respondent’s opinion on state intervention and policy failure. Specifically, we focus on whether people who believe in state intervention are likely to have lower levels of satisfaction with the government’s energy access policies. Second, we examine the link between policy failure and the likelihood that people consider a political candidate’s energy views in voting. We find that people’s preference for government intervention has a negative effect on satisfaction levels with government policies, and that people who blame the government for policy failures are less likely to take a political candidate’s energy policies into account when voting.

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